Wednesday, 29 December 2004

Bali Montage (*warning - rather large image file - 155.22 KB)

the wonderful feelings from my very recent trip to Bali (I arrived back only on the 26th Dec evening!) are sadly marred by the devastating news of the (still hard to believe) huge natural disaster that has befallen a large part of the region that I come from..

although fortunate to have chosen my holiday in a safe part of the region (thanks be to God*), my heart still wrenches continually from watching the updated reports on TV and reading of it on the Internet and in the newspapers...


via email: Let's Help... (Full List)

A list of emergency items needed for the survivors of the recent disaster.

1. Tents
2. Food (Pre-cooked or ready-to-eat meal packs)
3. Water Purification Tablets
4. Wheat Flour, rice, other staples
5. Drugs: Paracetamol, anti-biotics, wound dressing, suture material, disposable syringes, vitamins, and vaccinations for diarrhea, cholera and malaria.
6. Intravenous infusion (saline and dextrose)
7. Portable generators

For small parcels/items, please have them sent to the Sri Lankan Airlines office at
133 Cecil Street, Keck Seng Tower #13-02 Singapore 069535. Tel : 6223-6353

For medium-sized and large donations, contact Sri Lankan Airlines at 62236353 and a staff member will make arrangements to collect items from your office either with their personal vehicles or with a logistics operator.

* in Oct this year, i was planning to go on an end of the year dive trip to the Maldives. then in mid Nov, my supposed dive buddy became too overwhelmed with work and we considered changing our trip to a week long Sri Lanka trip instead, though eventually, that also fell through. Then in mid Dec, another friend returned from abroad and we excitedly set out to plan a week long liveaboard trip to the Similans, off Phuket, where the end of the year normally corresponds with the peak diving season. We were even in the midst of arranging our air tickets. Then his grandma fell ill and we decided to shorten that to either a diving weekend off Langkawi or Batam instead. We settled for the latter for novelty reasons. The disappointment from the missed Sri Lanka trip was also more than made up for by another opportunity, to go to Bali (possibly with free accommodation on someone's time share voucher) over Christmas. And hence, it was Bintan and Bali I went to eventually and (yes, in case u haven't realised, i've just listed all the hard hit places above in my entry) and I am safe... I believe i am watched by angels..

Tuesday, 21 December 2004

idyllic weekend

beneath the tranquil waters lies quite another world, of things with names like gorgonians, ascidians, phyllidias and acroporas...

and of cos nemo too. :)

altogether a relaxing weekend.

Thursday, 16 December 2004


looks like i'm going to be doing not just one dive trip, but two! :)

this weekend, i'm diving Riau! just off Batam! (see site)

while in Bali, i'll dive Tulamben! (see site)

see nauseating Tulamben wreck underwater panorama - Full Screen QTVR from

cool! DIVING! :D
weekday farm visits

Frog farm, Vishnu Dairy farm, Cactus Garden, Vegetable Farm, Kranji Beach
All Look Same

hahaha... check out this ALL LOOK SAME test i just took (courtesy of my good friend Lynn)

these are my results:

I suck!!! way below average!! hahaha... Chinese, Japs and Koreans really all look the same to me!!

I'm so ang moh...:p

Wednesday, 15 December 2004

The Incredibles..

Edna Mode in the show is doubtlessly my favourite character...

appears that she had many people wondering, after the show, which real life person she was modelled after...

taken from The Disney Blog: "Edna Mode is Edith Head - Don't click on this link until you've already seen The Incredibles. However, once you have, you need to see how similar Edna Mode is to Edith Head" .. wow!

or could it be..

taken from this site.. "based on diminutive actress Linda Hunt's portrayal of fashionista Regina Krumm in Robert Altman's Prêt-à-Porter. " .. guess we'll never know..

- see extreme left

see also the Incredibles "TV Spot 7 Edna Mode" Movie Trailer .. very funny..

Monday, 13 December 2004

You Are a Hunter Soul

You are driven and ambitious - totally self motivated to succeed.
Actively working to achieve what you want, you are skillful in many areas.
You are a natural predator with strong instincts ... and more than a little demanding.
You are creative, energetic, and an extremely powerful force.

An outdoors person, you like animals and relate to them better than people.
You tend to have an explosive personality, but also a good sense of humor.
People sometimes see you as arrogant or a know it all.
You tend to be a bit of a loner, though you hate to be alone.

Souls you are most compatible with: Seeker Soul and Peacemaker Soul

When God Made The World..

Project Genesis - Internal Corporate Correspondence
National Kayak Marathon 2004

ha, no, i didn't take part though i sure wished i could have ... i mean, what could be nicer than sweating out with a large group of people on a nice sunday morning on singapore river?? ha. :) ok ok.. i just like mass sporty events like these i guess ... there's always this "sporty" spirit in the air and you somehow always get so inspired to set health and fitness-type resolutions for next year.. to get all tanned and toned and fighting fit.. ha... anyway, i was there to "chaperone" a group of "kids" (yes, we call 17/18 year-olds that.. i think it's a teacher thing though i'm not sure why coz that usually conjures up images of toddlers and bratty 10 year olds in shopping malls.. )

anyway, this was what it looked like, in case u didn't watch the news last night..

watching all that fresh-faced eagerness, all the determination on the faces of the participants to race to the end. kayaks sloshing and slicing through yucky green water, the clockwork see-saw motion of paddles, the beautifully synchronised moves of the front and back paddlers for the double kayaks, the skilful manoeuvering of boats that have swung too close to each other, the occasional capsize or two for the not so skilful ones.. the 200+ boats raced along the course that brought them down Singapore River, past the Merlion, all around Kallang Basin and Pebble Bay, and back past Nicoll Highway and into Kallang Park, and then round again.. a total distance of 25km or so (route))

but yet, the most interesting thing i saw yesterday was...

other than the frantic racing....

or the occasional eye-brow raisingly nice bod with rippled muscles...

unbeknownst to the participants...

this rather disturbing thing that was in the water..

amidst the other less interesting flotsam...

swollen like a balloon...

quite about to pop...

quite about to pop

pretty gross.

Friday, 10 December 2004

The Socratic Traveller

this being the season where foes, friends and family take off to new places to see new faces, here are some great tips i have taken from the book "Socrates Way" by Ronald Gross to share with you, that you may want to keep in mind to get the most out of your travels:

1. Free your mind from preconceptions about your destination so you can see it with fresh eyes.

2. Ask good questions about the places and people you visit before, during, and after your trip.

3. Seek out experiences, not just things to buy.

4. Look for the values that motivate the people you visit.

5. As what you can learn about yourself in the particular places and among the people you meet.

6. Seek out the most interesting range of different people and places.

7. Come home with your soul strengthened by your travels.

Remember~ you're leaving home to find diversity and stimulation! :) Leave your biases at home and enjoy yourself!

*afterthought - one of the most annoying and mechanical responses i have heard from many Singaporeans from their travels is "Oh! I have learnt that I am sooooo lucky to be living in Singapore that everything works! blah blah.. so dirty there.. so poor.. shops close so early.. "

no doubt gratitude is good (thanks to our very efficient government and certainly some laudable policies they have implemented), but surely there is something worthy to be noted in the other countries as well, no? look at the relaxed smiles of the people! the free enterprise! the spirit of the people -yes, even the ones who try to rip you off! for it seems to me that for the entire duration of the holiday, these people have done little else than compared Singapore to what these places didn't offer, rather than focused on what they could learn and what these places and people had that we didnt'.

keep an open mind, i always say, DON'T WASTE YOUR HOLIDAY!!

Thursday, 9 December 2004

Movies I Watched in 2004

1. De Lovely (2004)
2. Old Boy (2004)
3. The Incredibles (2004)
4. Shrek 2 (2004)
5. Love Me If You Dare (2004)
6. The Village (2004)
7. Vanity Fair (2004)
8. Ju-On (2004)
9. Hero (2004)
10. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
11. Santa vs. the Snowman (2002)
12. The Story of the Weeping Camel (2004)
13. Clean (2004)
14. Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004)
15. Goodbye Lenin! (2004)
16. Mona Lisa Smile (2003)
17. Facing Windows (2004)
18. Irreversible (2003)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
20. Last Life in the Universe (2004)
21. The Passion of The Christ (2004)
22. TaeGukGi: The Brotherhood of War (2004)
23. Big Fish (2003)
24. The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
25. Lost in Translation (2003)
26. The Last Samurai (2003)
27. The Return (2004)
28. Shutter (2004)
29. Le Choristes (2004)
30. Quill (2004)
31. Travellers and Magicians (2004)

very strange assortment.. not as many as some of my movie fanatic friends, though i'm sure i missed out some.. quite hard to recall after so long.... and certainly, on closer scrutiny, you will realise that i have actually missed many of the so-called blockbusters, including even Lord of the Rings 3!! (i didnt' see that last year cos i was out of the country..) bad timing lor...

this page on yahoo movies allows you to compile your own list but it doesn't have everything..
land rover defender

i'm seriously considering buying a Land Rover Defender.. it's the ultimate adventure car..

Wednesday, 8 December 2004

portable music mania

".......two fans of MP3 players reveal that they have become so attached to their devices, that they refer to these devices as 'darling' and 'pal'. Their players are with them all the time...on the bus, in the gym, and yes, even in bed. It is the first thing they see when they wake up and the last 'toy' they play with before going to sleep.

They would rather be late for work than forget to pack it into their bags. That's how important that gadget called an MP3 player has become in their lives. Doesn't that give you a little insight into why the competition between the manufacturers of digital music players is heating up?"

(from ST Digital Life)

that sounds just like me!! :O wahahahah... check out Pingu protectiing my yet-unnamed iPod...

any suggestions for names??

Monday, 6 December 2004

standard chartered marathon 2004

no, that is not me.. i am not so stylish when i run... just thought it is a nice and inspiring picture..

in fact, yesterday's half marahon (21.1km) run for me was excruciatingly painful.. started cramping up after hitting the first 10km. had to limp to the medics and they gave me some strange oil to massage my thighs.. felt better but then the leg cramps started coming again on and off.. and i also felt continually dehydrated and my toes began to curl up involuntarily ... very very uncomfortable.. and not to mention my coughing and wheezing and choking on my phlegm (from my month-old cough).. grrr...

walked, hobbled, jogged all the way to the finish line, looking real terrible when i finally crossed it... lucky i wasn't the last to come in. ha. not too bad a timing too considering how little training i had before the run.. sigh.. in fact, i think the last time i ran was a good 2 months ago! darn the wicked flu bug...

sigh, next year, i swear i'm going to keep healthy all year round so i can get all my training properly done and come in blazing like the woman in the picture* above!

*i'll check the official photo website in two days' time to see if any photographer caught my picture as i crossed the line. i'll post it up to show u how bad i look when i came in... haha.. :p


here's how i looked as i approached and then crossed the finish line.. not too bad but rather sloppy, don't u think?.. i need new shorts.. ha.. anyway, i found a few other pictures of me but they were way too odd to put up... you should just see the expressions! haha.. see if u r clever enough to find them yourself online, ya? :p

Friday, 3 December 2004

Where the Jobs Are!

the statistics below relate to the US economy but they could well provide a highly probable picture of the direction our own economy is going as well.

This "hierarchy of human talents" shows how American jobs are changing as a result of greater productivity.

- People Skills (financial services, nursing, teaching and such)
- Imagination and Creativity (acting and a host of others)
- Analytic Reasoning
- Formulaic Intelligence (book keepers, secretaries, phone operators, etc.)
- Manual Dexterity
- Muscle Power

"Those who earn their living with muscle power, manual dexterity or formulaic intelligence are increasingly finding themselves replaced by automation or cheaper overseas labor, requiring them to adjust by utilizing higher-order skills that machinery or outsourcing can't do as well.

"Americans who want to prepare for the better jobs of the future will concentrate on developing their creativity, imagination, people skills and emotional intelligence," the authors write."

see the 2003 Annual Report at Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

something worth noting for friends of mine who are contemplating their future vocations..

Thursday, 2 December 2004

43 Things I Want to do in 2005

1. stop wasting time (740)
2. Learn Spanish (65)
3. To live instead of exist (165)
4. be a great teacher (1)
5. eat healthier (35)
6. take more pictures (428)
7. become a better photographer (25)
8. make people smile (19)
9. volunteer (15)
10. exercise more (447)
11. stop procrastinating (578)
12. keep on writing and reading and thinking (3)
13. live life to the fullest (3)
14. make more friends (77)
15. draw more (17)
16. read more books (203)
17. be more confident (62)
18. paint a lot for no reason other than i love to paint (7)
19. Enjoy working. (7)
20. make something of myself (12)
21. manage my money (4)
22. practice random acts of kindness (10)
23. Change the world (for the better) (17)
24. live passionately (203)
25. run a marathon (66)
26. start something big (16)
27. stop wasting my time on stupid things like this (7)
28. take better photographs (99)
29. design a beautiful website (72)
30. Laugh. A lot. Genuinely. (61)
31. don't lose my sense of wonder (65)
32. take a photography class (22)
33. Love (221)
34. Eat more fruits and vegetables (37)
35. make art (122)
36. Display my photographs in a public place (91)
37. re-establish lost friendships (41)
38. find the meaning of life (22)
39. visit japan (164)
40. be a positive role model (4)
41. be myself (38)
42. inspire others (30)
43. maintain great friendships (60)

see my list online

from twinkler - "What do you want to do with your life?"

Wednesday, 1 December 2004

A weekend visit to the zoo

Pygmy Hippos

isn't this so sweet?? :)

the one on the left is papa (or mama) pygmy hippo, the one on the right is mama (or papa) and the little one in the middle is baby. when we approached, one of the parents was touching noses with the little one. then all they once, they all rose, in tandem, to the surface to breathe. suddenly, the little one started sinking again (either because staying up was difficult or it was just plain sleepy). almost immediately, the bigger two rushed forward to prop it up so it could keep breathing above the water. but then it kept slipping off them and falling back in.... awwwww..... :)

went down to the zoo last Sunday morning to see my friend, who works as a zoo volunteer (aka docent), in action. we saw her leading miniature horses (no more than a metre tall) to the zoo entrance to show parents and the first question these kiasu parents love to ask is: " Can it be sat on?".. durh! typical parents.. grrr... just want to put their kids on every thing to take photographs on..

the zoo has become so amazing! practically all the animals are at arm's length away, or if they were big predators, we could usually see them just behind clear glass. Guanacos, fruit bats, tamarin monkeys etc all came up to us to examine us more closely.. the proboscis monkeys were new too. as well as a new enclosure for the white tigers which we unfortunately missed because it was raining and they brought them back to their private quarters (isnt' that so nice?? they get to stay away from pesky humans for a while everyday!) :)

i think our zoo is cool, a good place to bring your foreign visitor friends. it reminds me of Life Of Pi by Yann Martel. have u read the book? it's a good read.