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homeless in seletar
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this woman's beautiful life
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way out west
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ways i see the world
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Present Minors/Previous Minded
Jonathan Hooper 2005
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Lee Peng 2007
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Brannigan Ong 2009
Zong Zhen 2009

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Never Say Never cover by Brandon Lee

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what's sorrow compared to...
Saturday, January 31 | 7:03 PM

I first encountered Faith on an episode of Oprah talkshow last year.

May you be inspired by the courageous her story this weekend!



furry friend or fright?
| 8:52 AM

I've gotten my new furry friend last night!    

She's a Jack Russell.  I thought this breed does not shed much hair until I saw this patch on my toilet floor this morning while brushing my teeth.  I guess against any black background, everything else appears stark and larger than life?  

Remember him?  Hiojin used to clamber around my couch after completing his work.  And I have to call him a few times before he comes back to the study table.  

Today, I saw a different side of him.  Upon seeing my furry friend, his face contorted to form the map of the world.  Sheer terror transformed his body language altogether.  Despite assuring him that my dog is very friendly, he shivered like a reed.  After placing my dog in the kitchen behind closed doors, I sat Hyojin down and then he told me his story.
The frightened kid show me the scar he'd sustained from his recent encounter with a furry fright belonging to his cousin.  Then I proceeded to explain to him how he should behave around dogs when he next encounters them.  Since it was an English lesson we were having,  I also had him pen down his unpleasant experience in an essay.  Thereafter, I texted his mom who expressed her interest to read his first draft.    

There she was.  Behind the kitchen door, looking absolutely devastated because she had to be indirectly "punished" for the bad behaviour of another furry friend.  No, I learn from Bear-Bear - there are no bad dogs, just irresponsible owners.  I hope I don't end up as one.

By the way, I'm renaming my Jack Russell.  The kind girls who had found her named her Ponoy after an anime character.  I have a little problem with that.  Owing to the nature of my job, I encouner kids on a daily basis.  The cheeky ones may make fun of her name as it is synonymous with unsavoury materials on the internet and the newstand - do I even have to elaborate on this?   Any suggestions?  My some initial ideas are :

Sprite? - she's a ball of energy around the house.  

January Jr.? - My previous dog is called January because like this Jack Russell, I have adopted them both in the first month of the year.

Suggestions from you all?  Please leave them using the comments link below!

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Friday, January 30 | 10:10 AM

I shot this while on my way to the interchange.  

This is Singapore.  To catch a sight like this is rare.  Homelessness is an almost non-existent issue here.  So I gather this chap is catching a snooze either because he was drunk or that he got tired pleading with his lover for another chance.  I'm guessing of course.  

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Thursday, January 29 | 4:22 PM

3S1 latecomers performing a penalty item-cheer to redeem themselves.

Keith of 1D with his new BFF.

That's me goofing around with the kids in school when they misbehave.  Humour is always the best tool to teach a lesson or two.  

I miss teaching - full-time, that is.

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Halo (instrumental)
| 9:55 AM




lions for lambs
Tuesday, January 27 | 8:42 AM

I've just watched Lions For Lambs which I've taped on cable last week.  Starring big names like Meryl Streep, Tom Cruise and Robert Redford (who is also the director), the film throws up rhetorics surrounding the recent wars which have divided people around the world.  The arguments for and against war are not new.  What I like about the film is that, rather than be didactic, Redford opts to let the audience choose their side of the picket fence.  A caution though - the conversations may start slow but the pace picks up real quickly like the rat-tat of a SAR weapon.  Unless you are watching it on a DVD or in my case, on my HubStation with the choice to rewind in order to listen to the very poignant dialogue repeatedly, one may lose the true essence of the beautifully crafted script.   

One scene just spoke to me. This is where the Professor, P, tries to persuade two Harvard students, (one hispanic, A, the other African American, B - of course, playing the politically-correctness card required by Hollywood standards) from enlisting to fight in the US Army.

A : Doc, you're the one who told us not to live over our safety nets.

P : I didn't think that would translate into you guys heading out into a war.  If I did, I would've cut my tongue out.

A : I think you are missing the point.

P : Why?  Because I can't see that the army is a better gig than a graduate school most students would give an arm to get into?

B : No, because you're not seeing that if we did anything else,  we wouldn't be a part of the most important thing going on right now.  Doc, these events are going to define our lives, just the same way Vietnam did for yours.

P: (pause) I didn't enlist.  I was drafted.  (pause.  A and B look at each other) World War One.  Human soldiers for pawns about the bravery of the British Crown admired almost as much as they laughed at the British High Command who wasted the same crowns by the hundreds of thousands.  A German General wrote, "Nowhere else have I seen such lions led by such lambs."  That statement is so dead-on right now.  These star scholars who started this war - no where near the best and the brightest, not even in the same galaxy!  They are the ones, when some of our man blown to bits in the middle of gunbattle, saying shit like, `Oh, the enemy may have bloodied our nose, but we've learnt from our mistakes.'

A : We agree.  What's the problem?

P : So what is the problem?  What are we talking? (A laughs)

B : We already know how the system works.

P : Guys, think.  Think!

A : We thought that far ahead.  

B : Because going into battle makes it even more important, doc.  

P : I don't - (signals) Tell me-what do you mean?

B : We wouldn't have spent 3 weeks in school without Nixon and Watergate.   

A : If we kill bin Laden on 9.12, or if Iraq Shi'ite squeezed us with a tick-for-take parade?  We would never have to think of things like: Who are these people?  Does religion really preach murder?  Do they really need a dictator to stop each other from massacring each other?  

B : The greatest military in history can't catch 3 guys?!  Come on!

A : And how do you preach democracy and still send billions to Saudi kings or the furthest from it??

P : Or just lock yourselves into bridge huh?

A : Or sit on the bench?  The men who lead are the men who do work when there's work to be done.

B : Or you step up when you're needed.  Or sit back and let the other people do the lifting for you?

A : Just simple questions.

P : But potentially really awful answers.  Guys, just trust me.  Please!  Trust me.  If I'd thought this fight was worth the sweat.  I beg ya.  I would.   But what about stepping up here?  Changing policies at home.  

B : Look, we go do this now, then we come back and go to school. 

A : The army style.  

B : Then we can do something.  

A : Black, Mexican combat vets with an education.

B : Damn!  No debt to dictate what we do next?  They'll gotta listen to us then, doc.  We can change things!

P : If.  (pauses a long while) If.

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grow old
Monday, January 26 | 10:23 AM

People grow old only by deserting their ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up interest wrinkles the soul. You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope as old as your despair.

~ General Douglas MacArthur



| 12:52 AM

Like many bloggers around the world, I've succumbed myself to be Obamicon-ed!

That's the big guy who made American history on 20 January 2009.

That would be me, writing my own memoirs. Actually, there is an American link in my bit of history. That I will leave you to figure out.

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canine anxiety
Sunday, January 25 | 7:17 AM

This is my collection of pet writings I've amassed over the past 2-3 years or so.  I have not read any of them save for the one on the extreme right which I've embarked on recently in view of Ponyo's arrival.  Perhaps it was post-January's-death-depression-cum-denial in 2007 that prompted me to shelf them aside.  Deep inside, I know someday, someday I will have another dog.  Someday, I will be a better master of faithful canines (Opps!  Am I thinking of raising an entire farm in my new pad???) and my inner demons.  Yes, I'm totally convinced that pets are therapeutic.  In fact, I'm contemplating bringing them to my work place to tame some hyper-kids -  which I know will never happen - but someday, perhaps?  

I'm spending the weekend catching up with some friends and clearing up the odds and ends around the living room to prepare for the canine invasion.   Maybe I can even finish up one of the above books???

I may even share the coincidences and surprises behind Ponyo's adoption!

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| 2:26 AM




why Wii?
Saturday, January 24 | 4:45 PM

Another reason why I SHOULD get the Wii soon...



| 10:55 AM

He was one of the finest Rugby captains from St. Andrew's Secondary School.

Khairul chipped the ball towards the conversion poles

and tossed the ball from the scrum to his teamates at lightning speeds. 

In the end, the `B' division team of 2004 (I believe) played the most brilliant match ever and won the Police Cup title!  

pictures by Chris Leow (I believe)

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the long wait
Friday, January 23 | 2:11 PM

Nowadays at NTUC, the queues are so long - even in the mornings!

I'm not even shopping to stock up for the coming Chinese New Year holidays.

Well, I got bored waiting so long for my turn...



Don't Believe In Love
| 1:17 PM




| 10:29 AM

"We become what we think about." 
~ Earl Nightingale



Thursday, January 22 | 3:28 PM

I've waited a long time for this.  No. It's not that I had learnt that I was adopted and gotten the chance to meet my real parents. 

Last night, I went to visit the abandoned Jack Russell I had blogged about and which was up for adoption.

I got so excited meeting up the 3 girls who had found it and given it temporary shelter that I forgot to take a picture of Ponyo (which I'll probably rename??).

Here's however, some pictures of Scruffy, a maltese owned by the one who had provided Ponyo with a home.

He is not as assertive as Ponyo, a female.  In fact, he gets bullied by Ponyo quite a fair bit.  Hmmm...  

Upon leaving, one of us left Scruffy to stand by this Ikea chair and...
...he actually remained there throughout while we were in the house for about 10-15 minutes or so simply because he did not know how to jump off the stool!  He is quite a sweet chap actually.



all things new
Wednesday, January 21 | 12:21 PM

This came as a surprise.
Out of one of the 12 or so cati I'd bought from Cameron Highlands late last year, a sprightly looking shoot appeared a week ago.

I don't have green fingers and therefore, without any prior knowledge of the little ones growing in small pots at my patio, this is a pleasant surprise. Maybe we'll expect an interesting bloom due soon?

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we all need a little V
Tuesday, January 20 | 11:33 AM

Oh wow! I just came across this on someone's blog and I am swept away by its great message. I hope it'll make your day like it did mine.



Manic Monday #151
| 10:38 AM

What do you do to make yourself feel better when you are sick?

1) drink tons of fluids to speed up the recovery.
2) pop in my favourite CDs/DVDs and  
3) lie back on my bed to enjoy the music/movie/tv series. 

What is the most amazing weather you've ever seen?

That must be the superbly cool and sunny days while trekking the Milford Sound a few years back.  The occasional cold wind made the backpack a lot more bearable on my back.
Do you listen to music or talk radio in the car?

I turn up my pimped up sound system in my ride on all my drives.  I always make sure I bring along 2 CDs for the journey.  It is a MUST.



the world, our classroom
Monday, January 19 | 5:25 PM

The great big world out there makes the best classroom for young enquiry minds.  These are some captures from my jog with a lower secondary class during Physical Education lesson last week. 

What happened here?   What caused this accident?

What do you think happened to the motorists/ pedestrians?  Why were the debris left uncleared?  What might happen as a result?  

A poignant moment to evoke conversations around feelings for animals and of course, a reminder not to go near dead birds.

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My Home
Sunday, January 18 | 1:07 PM

Your Home Says That You Feel Settled and Calm

You come across as very intellectual. People take your wisdom seriously.

You have amazing hygiene, and it shows. You are sparkling clean!

You are a very domestic person. You enjoy decorating, cooking, and making things homey.

You are a very nurturing person. You find meaning in taking care of others.

You feel settled in your life. You have enough time to focus on little details.

You are a somewhat self sufficient person. You can do fine on your own if you have to.

Your friends see you as insightful, encouraging, and progressive.



Saturday, January 17 | 7:58 AM

I wear different hats during my day job.

At times, I am the Game Master who has to entertain kinesthetic and restless; learners. 

the Disciplinarian watching over kids who have to be reminded of socially acceptable behaviour;

this recent very pleasant development - the Physical Education teacher who gets a free workout;

and as always, the Photographer, who records fun and poignant moments and publishes them here!

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Real Gone
| 3:25 AM

Sheryl Crow



Gorceries and American Idol's Kara!
Friday, January 16 | 5:24 PM

I love my mornings off!  Being an early riser, I like the fact that I can lie in bed and watch television programmes.  I can take my time to leave the bed and still have plenty to spare for the rest of the morning (while most of you are still trying to beat the blues).    

I had to do some grocery shopping today.  This mammoth tote-bag was a gift some time back when I caught King Kong the movie for free (I cannot remember how that happened exactly except that I had a nice date for company!)  Now I am using it as my gorcery bag in my effort to cut down on the use of plastic bags in supermarkets. 

Random kindness... 
I was pleasantly surprised when an NTUC female cashier gave me tips on how to maximise the space in my grocery bag - start with the bulkiest item placed in the middle and then move outwards from there, balancing the weight equally with other items on both ends.  I guess that came because I am a guy doing grocery shopping?  :)   

Random thought...
The new judge of American Idol, Kara, is OOOoooOWOAH!  She sings as well as she looks!

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Triad encounter at Toa Payoh
| 3:12 PM

I had a rather interesting encounter over lunch.

After paying for my noodles, I placed my food at a table which had no seats. So I approached this elderly man if I could have the seat at his table which was not taken. He raised his eyebrows slightly and said that someone else will be needing it. In the end, I found another empty seat and headed back to chow down my lunch.

Now, it was one of those days when you just want to get through lunch quickly because you want to run your errands and then head back to swim and enjoy the warm sunshine. As fate would have it, I had to sit at a table where this man decides to strike up a conversation with a total stranger.

I did not want to appear rude so I tried to offer my listening ear. He informed me that the elderly gentleman whom I had approached earlier for a seat is a regular at the food joint and thus he had denied me the seat on purpose. At this point, the stranger got my attention. Denied me what? Benson was the stranger's name. He told me not to take offense as the elderly man has done it all the time to newbies who do not realise that the table was the latter's "territory" at the food joint. I was amused but not totally so. Apparently, the regulars would leave the elderly man alone because they did not want offend him.

"Does he think he's some triad boss or something?" was my immediate response to Benson. Whether I had uttered it out of some bruised ego or arrogance, I truly wanted to know the truth while slulping my noodles. Nobody quite knows for sure. The fact remains, I should leave him alone.

Next Benson added how teenagers today might have responded to that elderly gentleman - stage a confrontation and face dire consequences should the latter be part of some local gang. Was he cautioning me? Then he went on to share his encounter with 3 teenage boys who had confronted him in Takashimaya, a big shopping mall in the heart of town and his use of reverse psychology to defuse the tense situation. Okay. I tried to interject to find out if Benson's a retiree. He just went on and on about his encounter.   

I did have my errands to run and my swim to enjoy.  Politely, I used body language to signal my intentions - HELLO?  You are not answering my questions and I am busy and turning BORED so I need and WANT to leave.  Eventually, I did tell him that I had to run my errands.  I left.

Triad encounter at Toa Payoh central?  Cool.   



ah huay melts in your mouth
Thursday, January 15 | 7:22 AM

Long Way Up
KL Trip #1
5 to 7 Dec 08

There are 2 ways to go about meeting Ah Huay.

You can join the queue of parked cars on the right side of the main road like we did...

or you can park on the left side for takeaways.

On the other hand, you could walk up to the street corner stall to purchase Ah Huay yourself.

By Ah Huay, I'm referring to the healthy desert, soya bean curd. 
Where we were parked, someone will come up to you to take your orders.

Occupy yourself with a quick karaoke song and your order will arrive in a jiffy!

YUMMY smooth tao huay (soya bean curd) that truly melts in your mouth! and consumed in the comfort of your car cabin!

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