Friday, December 21, 2007

I'm posting this in case I ever lose track of it. At last, a more-or-less accurate calculation of the East Coast Parkway route... ripped off some jogging enthusiast's blog!
Haven't been blogging very much... but the musical's been going well! Most likely I'll be involved in teaching a Sunday School class for Sec 4 kids next year as well... on Genesis somemore.... awesome... lots of mind-boggling questions coming up!...

Sunday, December 02, 2007


The days seem to pass quickly as I slowly but surely get sucked into my work.

Number one on the To-do list:

Re-establish a Quiet Time at the office.

This I was reminded from singing the song "Quiet Time" at 1st service today.

But that's just a quadrant 1 thing. The bigger questions still float in my mind.

Today the church bulletin was distributed together with a flyer that stated there were full time ministry positions in the church that urgently needed to be filled up. And I was brought back to 2 months ago when I grappled with entering full-time ministry and somehow I feel disappointed with myself that I didn't just go straight in without thinking.

Today I'm marching to quite a different tune, and pastor's constant reminders struck me.

The immediacy of the kingdom.

And I realised how I was almost forgetting the reason(s) I had cooked up for myself as to why I needed a secular job first.

As it is now I've been learning, learning about the new job, the new environment, the new lingo, the new office politics space

So what happens when you keep on having to stay back and miss really edifying church-related meetings you would like to go for?

Pray that won't happen too often

And yes, I also pray to be more organized in my work so I don't freak out and leave things undone. This week's schedule is already packed!

It's December. We're starting to sing Christmasy stuff in church. I rushed home to work on something but the network seems to be down. Bleah.

I parked at the public carpark opposite TM yesterday and realised I was out of coupons... so I started walking around looking for someone to sell one to me.

There were 2 men seated in an old van that had the cheek to suggest that "it was going to be expensive" ie: I was to have to pay above face value...

Even selling me a 50cent or $1 coupon because I happen to have run out also want to make profit. WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE.....

I can expect these people have never like, passed the unused time portion of their coupon to the next person who's about to park in their space

Saturday, December 01, 2007

grossed out

Wow... been really busy at work this week.... keep leaving at 7pm... and this is while reporting at 7.30am... bleah...

btw, I was walking back to my old place just now, and got ambushed by this big stray dog. I didn't see it coming because I was listening to my mp3 player... bleah.... it barked and went super-near me but I just kept walking so it ignored me...

on my way back it was there again... blocking the road. I carried on walking and it ran up to me from its ambush point and licked my left calf before scurrying back to its original position back to the outside of the gate to a bungalow to fraternize with one of its in-house pets.

I had to rush home to bathe.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


somehow the way the moon looks tonight mirrors the state of my heart. It's a beautiful crescent smile.

Oh reason not the need

Sunday, November 04, 2007

short whine

After reading about Jas's blog, I decided that okay, since right now I feel like saying something, I will.

I think I suffer from being too non-confrontational. If somebody steps on my toes or does things that undermines me I tend to just say nothing. And go home to brood about it. Or feel lousy about myself. I don't stand up for myself, especially even when I feel I am really being unreasonably undermined.

It's like, the moment somebody says or criticizes my work or undoes it, my first thought will be how bad or lousy I am or how incompetent I am. Even if later when I sit through, examine and think though the facts I find that I'd been doing things properly.

Low self-esteem. Oh well. Have to learn to get over it. And call a spade a spade when it matters. I know I can do it sometimes, depending on how important the thing I'm going to have to stand for is. No matter who it is. I think it's the last part that's the hardest. Proceed with caution.

Busy busy Saturdays and Sundays! Must avoid the "busy martha" syndrome...

Pray for my new job! Work starts tomoro! Ciao!


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

lessons learnt

Why you should always check your mirrors before changing lanes... and not swing your steering wheel at expressway speeds:

This is apparently a Croatian police speed check area you can see the white numbers lined up with the lanes (in km/h, I presume) change as the cars pass the speed trap area.

The black car that pushes the white one into the centre barrier looks like the new BMW 7-series... it still manages to keep moving and stays in control! Amazing...

And here's another video of a Russian tunnel perhaps affected by ice...

watch for the drifting bus...

Okay as you can tell I'm anxious to start work

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Rolling on

Haven't been taking afternoon naps anymore... except for yesterday... which extended to 2 hours and caused me to be late for an appointment! *sheepish grin*

I'm signing the Mindef contract tomoro to confirm my appointment date et al... I really pray the job will work out because I've turned down other offers and interviews thus far...

Went for the first haircut of my life that cost more than S$10... nothing spectacular. Don't think it was really worth it heh... because a haircut to me has a pragmatic function - not too long, not too hot. We had a great value-for-money lunch of pasta later though... somewhere along upper thomson road

The *** insurance company is really lousy... I cancelled my insurance policy by hand like, 3 months ago and they've yet to refund me the unused portion of the insurance cover... finally managed to call them 2 weeks ago and this apologetic man says he'll expedite it... but I don't have my cheque still. BAH! Why can't they get their procedures right? Must I call again to nag somemore?

Another really excellent example of good service is NTU's Office of Finance. Telephone calls that never get answered. BAH!

Ok enough of complaints... Will use these precious 2 weeks left to clear up as much admin as possible... Praise God for free time!

Taitai out!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Hmm... a bit restless.

Struck the curb while trying to park head in. I wasn't so sure whether I was going to clear it, but I went ahead anyway and pffft the curb.

But thankful I was at low speed.

Went for a great 30-lap swim but fell in a drain on the way back to the parking lot

But hey, still thankful it's just skin-off and no cracked bones.

DIDN'T take a nap today again! Victory!!

Ok the day's ending... Wonder if 7-hours of sleep a day is sufficient for me.

Thank God for the day again!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

another victorious day

Thank God for another day gone by without taking a nap! yea! Had a heavy breakfast of laksa today... after which... went back to read yesterday's papers and do some of the musical master. After which, went for lunch of fish soup... and then back to more of the master, with lots of facebook in between.

Went to the townclub gym (Thank God I suddenly found a free parking lot out of the blue) and was running when Mr. Sinna and Susan my ex-bosses caught me on the treadmill. Also saw the same old man there Lydia and I used to use during our lunch gym sessions.

Mr Sinna said I had put on weight... BLEAH... must be the chocolates and stuff....

But anyway, managed to clear 2.4km within passing time in spite of walking as a warm up for 1st 200metres... 1 small victory at a time!

The weather was wet when I left for midweek so I headed for the paid carpark! Heh! Some foggy windows as the aircon was cooling the interior down and some hazardous driving got me there really quick, and I ended up meeting J. T. there too.

Midweek was chatting over chicken and some really lousy iced lemon tea. It was good to see WJ too... always in high spirits... great!

Journey back was super fun.... bothered to rev. the engine to 2500 rpm and pickup is fantastic... woohoo... maybe it's the cool weather and denser air... wow... getting cool air to the fuel mixture does make quite a difference...

Oh whee I am sooo tired....Thank God for the day!


Monday, October 15, 2007

Moving along, with thanks to God!

A small victory today~ managed to get by without taking any afternoon nap! Did Sunday school homework too. Did one portion of the master for the Christmas musical, paid some bills, gave tuition... fantastic!

On the food side... was sodiumised today. Had luncheon meat for breakfast AND dinner today... well... someone's gotta finish the leftovers rather than keep it overnight right?....

This facebook thing is killing me hahah... so addictive...

Not much time left before work begins...

Friday, October 12, 2007

relativism bah humbug

I once read with much admiration, an article in Straits Times by this Muslim-Malay politician who talked about toleration in a secular society.

I can't remember his exact words but it went something like - he would have to talk and work with and treat civily his fellow non-Muslim worker - though he knew this fellow was going to hell.

First of all I must say it took a lot of guts to write that. And even more guts to publish it.

And this absolutely slaps those relativists in the face, those who think people who hold on to absolute, exclusivist truth claims are bigots, close-minded, intolerant, arragont and all that.

I mean, that's what tolerance is in the first place right? Putting up with something in spite of not agreeing with it. If one can agree to all sorts of conflicting, mutually exclusive truth claims then he's not being tolerant - apart from a miserable lack of convictions in life - he's just spineless and holds on to nothing and expects other people to do the same.

Therefore see, how the person who disagrees with a particular truth-claim or moral belief and yet respects the other person's right to hold his view is the one who is REALLY tolerant.

I'm going to verbal smack the next atheist who goes around lamblasting us monotheistic bigots about how 'selfish' and 'unobjective' we are and how wonderfully enlightening their 'viewpoint from nowhere' and their 'value-unladen' objectivity is...


Proclaiming Jesus in a confused, attention-span defict world.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

God hear me

Just when I thought things were going to settle down as I wait for the largest bureucracy -ARMY - to finalise their employment details (during which I had to turn down interviews with New NKF, NEA, HDB, SPF as well as decline 2 other job offers), God opens yet another door.

I haf a keen interest in theology and the studying and understanding of God and how our faith ought to relate to our life and our world around us, and how we ought to see, understand and try to reconcile things. And there's an opening for postgrad studies in church as part of the pastoral team, with the aim of eventually becoming assistant pastor after several years of sponsored studies, of which my pastor approached me to consider.

What shall I do?

Being part of the pastoral team is something that I'd never considered before...

Monday, October 08, 2007


It's been a quiet monday morning. I woke at the incredible timing of 10.30am. Decided to take a walk to the MayBank Geylang Serai to pay the outstanding credit card bill from my telco. Walked the quiet of the bazaar and pasar malams as they're just starting to open. Brought my swimming stuff in my bag with the intent of going to the pool near Paya Lebar MRT after lunch.

Decided to go to the Singapore Post Centre Subway to redeem my free 6-incher sandwich. Chose a Cheesesteak because it's something I normally wouldn't buy if I had to pay full price. Wolfed it down rather quickly and started doing the remnants of my BSF homework. After a while it starting raining, and the gradually began to fill up.

As I finished the worksheet the place was beginning to get really noisy ala Raffles Place at lunch time so I left and walked around a bit amongst the office people looking for a cash-deposit machine. Couldn't find any. In the end I settled down to read the latest edition of "Wheels" magazine at Popular bookstore. Many nice-looking ads with some worth-while articles too.

A feature on the latest C-Class... ha... something I'd admire but never buy even if I had the money. Then a short write-up on the VW Golf GT "1.4TSI"... at 104k it's in luxury car zone. But its one mean pocket rocket and gentle on the tax but not on the torque and acceleration. Nice.

Stood there for 45min to finish browsing... and by the time I was done the rain had stopped so walked back home. Fixed lunch appointment tomorrow. Got a call from somebody. Finished it real quick. Got a canned drink. Went home and had some ice cream.

I feel like just sleeping and sleeping. Goodnight.

Friday, October 05, 2007


Woah! This is sooo cooooll

Stomp is an interesting place, but it seems to be mostly for petty complaints :) but it also shows how ugly we sometimes get... :)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

On men and women

Animal brutality.

That's the first reaction I had to the first physical encounter between Mrs Mak (pronounced "mai" as in "mai-dang-nao" (MacDonald in mandarin)) and Mr Yee in the course of their illicit affair.

Without going into details that would put this blog into the porn circle, I'd say that Lust, Caution (2007) got me thinking once again about the relationship between man and woman by throwing some hard, honest realities back in my face.

Perhaps it was merely a matter of style or preference that while she wanted to build up with more foreplay, he just rushed in and took her. Or perhaps a reflection of his power (in both the physical and political sense). Maybe it was the rekindling of that banter they had 3 years before which he had turned down due to caution, that he so wanted to consumate.

But its the... 'uncivility' of the whole act which unsettles me. Almost like some excretory function. Unhappy me. You almost feel bad to have to subject your other half to such, impalement, for want of a better word. I'm sure there's a better way to do it.

So much for the tryst. But Mrs Mak goes in for the kill. To establish that emotional 'oneness' between a man and a woman where they transcend beyond the "your money is yours, my money is mine" kind of mentality. At the meeting in the Japanese district she announces her intent to move into his life by challenging, in that all so powerful demure way that only a lady can, to regard her as more than a whore. Which he probably treated her as, up till now.

And she sings for him a beautiful song, appealing to his sense and need for a woman in his life. And he finally succumbs. A hard, cautious man, broken.

He reiterates that again some part later in the movie as he recounts "... my superiors say my mind is not in my work... I am somewhere else.... and I am.... all my thoughts... are with you..."

A darker note surfaces as he recounts how he tortures a suspected spy "... as I tortured him... I imagined him... on top of you..." Probably a reflection of possessiveness.

But what of the director's claims of giving more insight into what sex is to women?

Only a hint of it in her angry words to the spy-master when asked to prolong her whoring to him so that they could get more information. As she describes.... the experience.... in rather cruel words and punctuates it with how, after climaxing they are supposed to turn up and blow his brains off while he's still on top of her. Maybe her side would have come out more vividly in the uncensored version.

But as it stands, she just keeps being portrayed as something to be used.

The question at the end when the plot is uncovered and they fail to assassinate Yee is, did Mrs Mak fall for him, as he did for her? Behind that innocently seductive smile, that gentle, helpless demeanour, and quiet, consistent face, I can't tell.

Neither do the way things unfold at the end give a conclusive answer as well. We know quite certainly Yee did. Men are simple, readable creatures mostly.

But as for her, she remained the Mona Lisa with regards to him all the way. Who could tell what the woman was feeling behind that pretty face?

The movie is a classic spy plot, quite generic in its execution and unfolding techniques, but its explorations into the relationship between a man and a woman are brave.

Alas, still, the mystery that is woman.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

my ride

Engine mileage for all to see. Max power @ 5500rpm. Max torque @ 4500rpm. In daily traffic there's usually not a need to go beyond 2500rpm even with the aircon on. Haven't tested max speed yet because I want to change the timing belts before I attempt that :P
Yes and it travels 300km on half a tank of petrol... full tank being 60litres but then, we all know petrol gauges are rarely linear in their sweep :)

Monday, October 01, 2007

love the sinner, hateth the sin?

This write-up is a response to the article Homosexual friends: Let's fight the hypocrisy on YOUTHink, The Straits Times 1st Oct 2007.

I read with much interest your claims of hypocrisy in trying to apply the truism of ‘love the sinner, hate the sin” to the issue of homosexuality.

As someone who has had a close personal college friend of many years gradually ‘come out of the closet’ with regards to his homosexuality right under my nose, I too have experienced the tension between being this person’s continued close friend and remaining faithful to the values of my belief.

Firstly, I note in your writing about how you felt that “…gay people were just like everyone else, and fully capable of holding stable, loving relationships…”

I agree with you completely on that statement. If I can claim to love the sinner, that would first and foremost mean that I regard him as a ‘normal’ person like myself, and I will not presume that being homosexual predisposes one to ‘abnormal’ or abusive relationships.

However, it seems that what you have been taught about why homosexuality is to be considered an abomination rests merely on these supposed consequences of being gay. The verdict is still out with regards to empirical research as to whether gay relationships are more or less fulfilling and lasting, whether children raised in gay families are better or worse, and so on, and after a while we run into social science problems of how we can measure happiness or fulfillment or good upbringing.

But for want of such objective and scientific conclusions as to whether the phenomena of homosexuality is detrimental to society, there are people like myself who hold on to the notion of homosexuality being an ‘abomination’ simply because it is explicitly so defined by my faith, and that being generally unshakable except by the most fringe interpretations currently existing.

Yes, it is true that many conservative groups may try to emphasize on some empirical research data or perpetuate some presumptions about the effects of homosexuality as a plausible reason for condemning homosexuality. But for clearly grounded practitioners of the faith, the teaching stays because it is absolute, and not dependent on its being proven ‘undesirable’ by man.

Secondly, I would like to address your charges of hypocrisy with regards to ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’. Rather than go into the history or the specific Christian context of the teaching, I would simply state that it is still logically possible to have a separation between the ‘sinner’ and ‘sin’.

‘Sinner’ basically refers to every human person, for according to Christian teaching every human in his natural state tends toward the committing of sin. Thus what this means is that we are to show charitable love to all human beings and wish or do no harm to the person, and watch out for them as ourselves. To love in that sense is not necessarily to adhere or acquiesce to their values and beliefs.

I’d like to also add that ‘not accepting them the way they are’ does not mean discriminating against them or persecuting them, which would clearly not be out of charitable love. They are still members of our secular society, and ought to be treated as so.

Separation between the offender and the offence is being done all the time. In school, for example, students get punished for all sorts of offences and in many ways, but it is not right for the teacher to demean or insult the person. Instead they are to direct the disapproval towards the offence.

What you have done in your article is that because you are either unable to separate the agent and the act itself clearly, or that you understand love to mean acceptance of the other’s values, you respond by redefining homosexuality as no longer being a ‘sin’ to you.

My take on this? As long as we are able to separate the person from the action, there will be no hypocrisy involved, and we can continue to be faithful adherers to our value system and yet responsible members of our secular society.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Treetop walk

Last Saturday HPFers and TFers from church went on the HSBC Treetop walk... we took the shorter route from Venus Drive and the whole journey was about 7km in total... completed in about 2hours including rest stops...

It's not much of a kick actually... its this very safe, secure suspension bridge... heh.... 250m... and when we look down we can see lots of trees. Of course, for some of them it was quite an experience...

It was some experience. Good exercise, although dinner more than compensated for it.

Friday, September 14, 2007


Hey here are some pics of my car after washing it

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


OH MY GOODNESS! YUMMY! AND I FINISHED IT ALL! (just the last 3 biscuits) YAYYYY. You guys really have GOT to try it. Bought at Candy Empire but maybe it's cheaper elsewhere.

On obeying authority, and being honest with myself

Back when I was teaching in school one day, I was at my desk in the staff room, feeling really upset that nothing seemed to be working out... and a reality check came from my other colleagues from related departments...

Is the chaos normal?
Is the fact that maybe just 10% of whatever you try to say gets through normal?
Is it normal that children are so rude and defiant?

Yes it's normal, they say.


"Oh you must understand their family background, etc etc so on and so forth..."

Fair enough, I don't care what happens in their homes or if they've been taught properly. At least within the school there should be some basic standards, or else how is learning ever going to take place?

And that's the reality. To be a teacher now not only do you have to just teach content. Before you can do that effectively, you have to, on your own, build up your own reputation so that they'll actually cooperate with you. And there are two ways: tyranny or 'being their friend'.

Let's talk about 'being their friend'.

The stuff you see on videos is the 'build rapport' thing which means that you need to win them over to get them to do what you want. Sweets, chocolates, patting them on the back when they hand in their work, etc.

That's not in line with what I understood schooling to be, unfortunately. You are supposed to respect derived authority. Period. Whether you eventually respect the teacher personally is another matter altogether.

Now whether the children were taught to respect authority is beyond the teacher's control, but within school at least there needs to be some sort of discipline to reflect that, at least within school, this is the expected standard.

It's like I'm at the mercies of the kid's whim and fancy when it comes to basic things like not talking back, handing in homework, shutting up when I'm talking et al.

Oh and the stare hard at people tactic doesn't work now. There's no sense of decency and embarassment with some of them. They just keep talking or doing their stuff.

Now let's discuss option 1: tyranny

I have seen some of the senior teachers doing that very effectively. But it saps your emotional energy because you get really angry when you keep scolding and punishing them.

Few people have a disposition that seems to indicate they're angry even when they're really not, thus fooling the kids all the time.

And I can't punish people for nuts, I get really really upset when I have to send people out or to detention. I try to detach myself and just do it but it just really makes me feel so bad. And the kids know it, and that I have a very high level of patience and tolerance.

But even if I could stand it, learning is not going to take place if the kids don't get in line, so what's the point?

Only now do I understand how much harder it is to be a teacher, especially in a place where children are spoilt, rude, have no respect for authority, and it's always a tension of people wanting to break loose and wreck havoc and everything is only just barely contained, if at all.

If anything, I realise it's a reflection - a reflection of Singapore's future... and we are rapidly descending into America's public school system ... breaking down and going through the motion... and the worst part is that the poor teachers (including a HOD of mine) in the service for so long don't realise how bad the extent of things are, because they're like the frog in the slow fire cooker... they adapt, and they accept it everytime standards go down bit by bit... whereas for someone like me, whose last dose of school life was 8 years ago or more, to me its such a great, sudden shock.

It's also an indicator of how relative morality is not going to work, because with no yardstick to follow, we just go down bit by bit everytime...

I know I sound like one of those useless people who complains and then doesn't do anything about it, but to me, education is not that important. Killing myself to prop up a secular system that refuses to change... is still a lost cause.

On the other side, the elite schools are getting more elite. Remember the idea of spreading the good students amongst all the schools mooted by a retired civil servant? Would be violently unpopular with the elite parents, and understandably so. Even the Education Minister himself brushed it off, saying something about focusing on niche areas...

Sometimes I can see why people don't want church and state to separate. Education is so important, not just for practical reasons, but also for people's morality, upbringing, and value systems. I dare say that it is only by God's grace that my two brothers have made it through tough neighbourhood schools intact.

So goodbye Public Education Service, I'm out. I respect those who have been there and are still there making a difference. Running after 40 kids and disciplining them, doing their parent's job and then actually having to teach them is not my cup of tea. I do not have this overriding love for children against all the odds.

What does God have in store next, I wonder?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

update on project Ah-Peh

Due to recent financial setbacks... Project Ah-Peh is in serious limboh. Right now all that I can do is to make a list and prioritise what needs to be fixed.

This car is a classic. It's 4.68m long. That's because it's very old school and the car design philosophy was different then. Everything, engine, transmission, etc all were designed in a straight line, unlike today's tall vehicles which stack mechanical components one atop another. And it's relatively low at 1.39m. It's wheelbase is amazing, at 2.72m which later translates into very secure road-holding. The double-wishbones suspensions, though ensuring very good handling in spite of old tyres, eat a lot into the rear cabin room thus the legroom is only slightly better than that of a contemporary upmarket 1.6litre car.

Maximum power is 130PS and even after 16 years it still feels ever-ready to rev and agile, a testament to being a Honda. It's fuel-injected and SOHC so its key advantage is torque. It maxes at 4500rpm with 18.1kgm but actually the curve is such that from idle torque begins from 14kgm and reaches 16kgm by 2000rpm before moving till 18kgm by 4000rpm. This holds out until 5000rpm. All this pulling a weight of about 1250kg. This is all shown graphically below.

And guess what... it has got to be a... manual! What else for the anal-retentive me! It's clutch is quite worn out and needs a bit of accelerator while engaging it... but... hehehe... it rocks!

Btw, the stereo features 4 speakers at the back with very nice wooden boom boxes eating into the trunk... it sounds awesome!

So far, these are the problems it has.

1) Front passenger window can't be lowered completely or it'll misalign when it goes back up.
2) Front window rubber seals are worn, so there's wind noise at 90kmh onwards
(1) & (2) would cost about $300 to fix... bleah

3) Tyres look old and are oversized! The speedometer's reading is 6% slower than reality! So when I was going at 100kmh... it was actually...
(3) it turns out 16" tyres cost $100 a piece! GASP!

4) There's this pathetic "Proton" logo on the 16" alloys - I'd rather have gotten smaller rims and a better brand instead...

5) Alternator belt making interesting sounds tt correspond with engine rev... its getting worn... sigh...

6) Clutch is worn and needs a bit of fuel or pre-rev to engage smoothly. Gearbox feels rough when not warmed up.
(I don't even want to ask how much it'll cost)

I'll post pictures when I actually get down to washing the car lol


Some nonsense

Way long overdue now is my convo picture! *Sigh... don't carry a Prosumer Camera hoping ppl can take pictures for you because they'll get the shake all over... So far this one has survived...

From left to right: My Aunt Janet, Moi, Dom the future PhD (bah! what's this trade course you just graduated from?) and Mom.

It was so exciting because the convo was supposed to start at 10am and I arrived unrobed at 9.45am... haahAHahAha..... but thanks to some kind ppl in the robing room I still managed to make it. Now the whole thing is finally over!

The real world beckons... and oh well... wonder how much longer and how many more resumes I must send before I cease being jobless... not earning your keep is not a nice feeling... but getting a job you feel seems tough... or should we just resign to doing whatever we have before us?

Also, today the 99a53 vjc supper gang (remnants) sent Pok off to the USA... he's going there to study for his Masters and PhD after topping NUS FASS E. Lang... fully paid of course. 5 years. Woah. Here he is standing next to Mr T. Toh, our resident legal advisor. The crazed banker D. Chiam could not be captured on camera.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

sunday reflection - back to basics

I had a good run today. I finally completed 2 rounds around Maha Bodhi, finishing about 2.8km. My physical form has been flopping ever since I started work, with all the stress-related overeating and the lack of energy and discipline to exercise due to a very packed schedule. Now that's all set to change.

The pace, however, was not IPPT passing. But a little bit at a time.

Unfortunately, on the way back I had stepped on some dog poo so I had to spend 15min in the toilet using a defunct toothbrush to scrub away the cakes of excrement from the intricate patterns of my right shoe's contact patch. Imagine, the fine little splatters of poo (after the major cakes are out) that spray out into a repulsive mist of brown after you dig the remaining stubborn swabs out using the ends of the toothbrush bristles, just like how you'd dig out stuff stuck in between your teeth while brushing. Except that everytime the poo splatters into a mist, it seems that the increased contact area of each liberated poo droplet with the air sort of multiplies the overall pungency of the matter.

Not exactly the kind of subject matter you'd like to tackle just before a sumptious dinner prepared by mom, but, yes it happened to me.

I've tendered my resignation and am actively on a job hunt again. I'm looking for marketing positions, media-related and/or writing assignments. Its interesting how different people aim differently when job hunting, both in their expected pay, the types of companies they look for, and the job scopes they consider. I know there's no perfect job, but it should at least match most of your skill sets (read: just ability, not interest) and something you can go to work to everyday.

I know realistically that I'm not a career-minded person, as in I don't envision myself at this post drawing this pay by this age and so on, and tend to be quite clear about the line between work and my personal life. It's not that you can't help out more at the office during peak periods, but there's a line to be drawn for such things. If it happens all too often or the nature of the industry is as such, then it's probably not for me...

You could call it a lazy mindset, very un-model worker like, but I see work as work - a means to earn a living. What's the point of earning enough to enjoy a luxurious lifestyle if you don't have the time or the peace of mind to enjoy it? Rather, keep life simple, and appreciate the family, friends and relationships God has given you... which is a full time job in itself already.

We have a very interesting culture here. Intense work. And intense enjoyment. Is there such a thing?

Intense work I have experienced. But is there such a thing as spending a half an hour quality intensive lunch with your family?

Even if it took place at Westin Stamford, there's no point if all we do is comment on how expensive the food is, and yet we effectively live separate lives. Or an intensive trip to Europe in a week after your bonus? All you do is rush here and there, buying things, not seeing, understanding or appreciating the culture, history and different ways of life they have. Or spending your sweat and blood money on that OSIM chair to solve all the stress you get at work.

"Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work ome from a man's envy of his neighbour. This also is vanity and a striving after wind." - Ecc 4:4 (ESV)

Now this verse is NOT an excuse not to work, because if you look at the context of the following verses :

"The fool folds his hands and eats his own flesh. (but) Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind." - Ecc 4:5-6

So work, yes, or you'll not be able to earn your keep. But just remember not to chiong in your work for the sake of chionging. Be responsible, but don't sell your soul. When enough is enough, say it is enough.

But then sets us in perspective about what work is. Christians who say they want to work hard earn lots of money to glorify God to show that Christians can do it - beware!

These thoughts and ideas are my own and how I am led to understand the Bible. I'd welcome comments and thoughts on this.

Dinner time!


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Lament on leaving teaching

I whine. I whine. I sit in front of the computer, staring at the large expanse of LCD screen. Symphony 92.4 FM is playing in the background. There is some foreigner singing in some foreign language. It is 1.46pm. I am alone. At home. At my desk.

The operatic singing overwhelms me although I can’t understand what he means. It sounds so sad. It sounds so despairing. Like he had just lost his only true love. Or was questioning the very meaning of his existence. Over and over again he bellows in that powerful voice of his. And the song ends.

How many times have I heard such beautiful singing, and tried in vain to follow the words in my mind, knowing my vocal range is sorely lacking. Or followed the vibrations of the violin as the player’s bow glides across the strings, pretending as though I was making the harmonious melody. Or mimicked the fingers of the distinguished pianist, honed from days and years of dedication at the ebony and ivory perfecting the masterpieces of old.

I always wished I was somewhere else. I always wished I was someone else. I always wished I was something else.

I ask myself, what is a job? What is work? Why do I hate it so much? Am I lazy? Or have I just not found a job that mostly suits my interests and skill sets? Is there such a thing, even? Or is it a matter of the resignation of the idealism that foolish youth carries on into adulthood long after the physical starts to degenerate?

I look around. Many others are diligently at their allocated jobs. Their designated responsibilities. They may not love their jobs, but they are responsible people. Yes indeed, so God had ordained work that one would make a living with his own hands, not being a burden unto others. The command of God is terrible. And more so if disobeyed. But-

No ‘buts’, not especially when God’s command is concerned. Then am I defiant and lazy, risking the wrath of God? Or is this merely a transition?

My socialization kicks in. I look like a quitter. But - which is worse? To come to work unwillingly, unhappily and tired due to lack of sleep every day, or to admit that this is a lost cause and leave?

Who am I defying when I quit? God? Or my socialization?

Some say it’s all in the mind. I must convince myself that I can do it. Then I will do it. That it’s not as bad as I picture it to be. Mind over matter. Don’t pay attention to the fact that almost nothing gets accomplished at the end of an hour of yelling. Don’t admit to the fact that after so long all they’ve improved are their copying skills. Don’t pay attention to the fact that they are in such dire straits but still lack the basic discipline to listen. Just do your part in appearing there. And nevermind that 40 pupils is too big a class size for energetic children with very short attention spans.

Just go through the motion.

For my own interest’s sake? For the pay? That's not for me.

Or maybe I’m doing something wrongly? Give them more colouring assignments? More hands-on work? More fill-in-the-blanks and other stuff to copy? Keeps them occupied. But then I ask myself - is learning actually taking place?

Perhaps I was deluding myself all the long. Do I hate kids? But no, I don’t hate kids. I just feel so unequipped to do anything to help their situation while I have to see them in such circumstances like a classroom. And I can’t bare to go through the motion.

See them after class, remedial, extra lessons? Counselling? Did that and I must say it’s much more effective. Then why meet in the classroom in the first place? 200 students. 150 in need of individual attention. Something larger is not right.

Then you tell me that this is quite normal. Now my mind is completely made up. Sorry, but no way am I going to accept this as normal and I won’t be a part of this degenerative self-denial. I have pity for my students and the others who go through this and wake up too late.

But anyway, who ever said education was to be a societal equalizer? Who perpetuated that myth? That false lie? That bright, shining lie which keeps things the way they are, leaving the existing power structures intact.

Then God gently beckons. Has He not ordained the lives of all mankind? From the elite to the humble? And given them gifts and circumstances as He sees fit?

Where then, will we see the end of the poverty, of misery, of depravity, of inequality, of broken homes, ruined lives, of souls depraved and lacking in joy and purpose?
That which we long for, we must wait and find in Heaven.

So it is with a heavy heart, and begging much forgiveness, that I need to say I’m leaving after just a short month. Education is only a means to an end. And the ultimate end isn’t about head knowledge.

Take care. And God bless.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

project Ah-Peh

It's been more than a month since my last update. Birthday's come and gone, and I'm 25 now. Mid-twenties. Shudder.

Just started full time work teaching at Junyuan Sec, and its quite a culture shock. Should I try to be their friend in order to get them to do the things I want? There's absolutely no sense of authority at all. I shouted my voice hoarse and now I'm wondering who will listen to a whimpering teacher.

Changed from a 9-yr-old to a 16-yr-old car. A classic 2.0l manual Honda Accord. Clutch is worn out and the rubber seals on the windows are worn so it gets noisy at speed. Occassional fan belt noise. Shock absorbers are worn out. 16inch tyres have punctures. I can imagine this being 'Project Ah-Peh" ... it'll be the terror when its all done up. Quite a wide turning circle too.

Life's been very busy with work, take-home work, BSF and lots of church things going on during the weekends too.

Will talk more again during national day break. Tata!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Does Islam have an issue with the secular public space?

Different societies have different concepts of freedom of expression. In Singapore it is taught that this freedom must be exercised responsibly - meaning - that it must be restrained according to the sensibilities of the potential effect of the communication on significant segments of the public, not to incite or 'stir-up' unhappiness or ill-will amongst different classes of society.

However, such an operating definition when applied leads to unfair allocation and suppression of public expression in a manner which is prejudicial to some segments of the population.

How so?

This is because the way by which we define a communication that is worthy of censure from the public space to be one which would incite or stir up ill-will, and what it is that would incite ill-will depends pretty much on the individual group's tolerance for communication that is prejudicial towards that group.

Let us cite certain examples - Jesus Christ, the defining historical character of the Christian faith, has been mocked and insulted in songs, movies so many times, sometimes by members of other faiths, sometimes from within. But the majority of the Christian reaction to recent controversies like "The Da Vinci Code" has been one that, though vocal of its inaccuracies, and responsive in issuing counters and clarifications, has by and large been respectful of the secular public space in which general society operates. By that we mean public functions, locations, cinemas, books, bookstores and so on.

We recognize very clearly the need to protect this 'secular space' in which a society of different faiths needs to operate.

We do not call for Da Vinci or books making controversial claims about Christianity to be banned. We don't demand apologies, retractions, or issue death threats to the authors or movie-producers. We don't comment on who the Queen of England knights (yes - Elton John's a gay and with the Queen as someone significant in the Anglican church, we're sad, but...)

Mind you, its not because we're wimpish or weak-faithed, or worse, hypocrites. It's just that its not binding on non-believers to behave and observe what we Christians are supposed to observe. I remember some Catholic parishes calling on their faithful not to watch Da Vinci. And in other churches too there was sparked a rapid response of clarification and explanation about the controversies raised in the movie. But that's quite different from demanding it from being banned from cinemas and protests all that.

Is God soft on blasphemy now? Hardly. For people who believe in Him, its their duty to continue in fear and reverence and not participate in it. Just like other forms of worldliness that have been clearly renounced. Its just that we recognize we can't force other people who don't believe in Him to behave as if they do. So yea, no forced closing down of gay bars and bombing of abortion clinics and such stuff either. The rest of the public just continues to do what they want to, at their own peril of course.

No other line puts it more simply than this : In the end, it's between you and God on Judgement Day.

'Crazy' or 'conservative' holy-moly people might continue to warn you from it, but nobody can force you if you don't believe its wrong.

Free will is such a wonderful gift eh?

Unfortunately, with examples of the reactions to 'the Satanic Verses', 'the Danish Cartoons', 'the knighting of Rushdie' it seems that even in Europe this public space in which secular society operates is in threat. Could this be because Islam cannot tolerate blasphemy, even if not done by non-believers? If that were so, then whose fault is it? Islam, or the concept of the secular public space? It would seem that Islam cannot exist in a secular society. Must the secular public space be altered and curtailed to suit the sensitivities of the Islamic faith?

Islam says conversion cannot be forced. If that were true, what rationale is there to force non-believers to behave like Muslims?

But still, in Singapore double standards exist - people cannot comment (although tactlessly) about dogs in taxis (is it a culture/tradition or religious teaching?) but Da Vinci, technically extremely blashphemous and insulting to the divinity of Jesus Christ, can play in cinemas and this is only because Christians respect the secular public's right of expression.

I say, defend our right to secular expression in public space - we Christians play by and respect those rules - why can't adherents of other faiths? I know eventually my God is powerful enough to settle accounts with those who have defamed Him, in the end.

And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them. - Luke 9:5
Ah... the school term has started. But I'm still at home, living the life of a taitai... I wonder, did my posting letter get lost? Can't be... MOE has sent me stuff before and that rules out incorrect postal address... Or maybe I'll get posted in AFTER the NIEers leave the schools after their short 4-week stint in school

Over the past week I sent them email, tried to call their hapless telephone line... argh... I could become a stalker with so much time on my hands. Well, a plus is that I get to attend BSF for the first few weeks in leisurely peace.

BSF is starting! Every Monday and Tuesday for the next 5 weeks... my group of initial 13 people has shrunk to 5... so I might end up combining with other group... still have some issues with the fast paced going through of questions required... in fact sometimes I find that I do it so methodically with my eye on the clock that I miss the whole point of it!

One day at a time, one day at a time...

something from HPF to consider:

In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him. - Ecc 7:14

God is righteous and fair... we just need to trust Him that it'll be done in His timing.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

I like to talk about myself

Hey! Its been quite a long while since I last blogged. Ironic considering I'm jobless and bumming around at this point. I'm waiting for my contract teaching period to start. Been living the 'taitai' life basically... the occasional GSS outing... I played LAN yesterday (OMGosh! Jerry playing LAN?) with Weijian & Co. and adopted a self-styled avatar called "tv"... btw, 6 frags out of 15 games is total rubbish, I know... yeah blame it on the Carbine the guy is dead centre in front of me and somehow no matter what the crosshair says the spurts of fire aren't killing him... :P

Morning runs at East Coast, Bedok Reservoir Park, and swims at the cloudy Hougang pool before tuition... woah I'm gonna miss all this when I start working... (which is, incidentally, in a week's time)

Also caught Spidey 3 on Monday at the weird timing of 9.50pm... heh... it was better than expected... and we could relate Spidey to some real-life people we know :)

Cleaned up some old ISOs from my PC... dun use my PC as often as I used to anymore now that I have my revived laptop... also... my DVD-RAMs from Japan just arrived courtesy of dz. They came in cartridges that were thankfully removable. 3xspeed Double-sided for a total of 9GB of usable data area... of course the flipping to side B has to be done manually... the dye looks like phase change technology with many streaks running at intervals along the surface.

Unfortunately, I've been having problems trying to get my ftp server to work from behind my router. Tried different ports and different server software but to no avail. But the port translation has been done successfully before for purposes of torrents and msn... so.... ???

There. I love talking about myself on my blog. After all, who could stand it if I told one single individual all the above things about my life at one shot? :) and this was only the summarised version...

Saturday, May 26, 2007

oRd loh! Carefree days are over...

It's been a long time. It's not that I neglected my blog. But on the last 2 occasions I tried to blog somehow things got interrupted, utterly destroyed, some parts of the web toolbar (like the picture loading options) failed to load, and so on. Just got so utterly pissed.

So many things have happened. Taiwan and back as mentioned previously. Malacca and back. I'm pleased to say that ye olde Soluna hit 140km/h on the downhill on the journey back. Tyres are incredibly noisy though. And it would seem that higher octane petrol really does last slightly longer...

Spent most of Malacca trip roaming around the town, tourist sights, sea sights, city area, Jonker Walk, Mahkota Parade, etc etc. I dig their chendol.

Drats it happened again. The upload picture window jammed on me. BLEAH! ok no photos then.

btw, I've decided to start using my Friendster account since I keep getting irritating nagging msgs about it anyway, so here goes\praisevariants

maybe I'll start updating and tidying it up... who knows... *hah*

Had a call from Ms Goh from VJ it seems that there's no way I'll be going for contract teaching in a JC halfway through the year... so no GP for at least half a year... oh well.... by God's grace let's just see where I'll go... I'd like to ask for an easier posting and I pray I won't get such a 'tough' place... but more importantly I pray for strength to go through whatever it is that gets thrown at me.

Oh yes - 21 days left of full-time NSF came and went. Officially collected my IC yesterday with Henry the medic. Got a sprained foot. Bought a new pair of New Balance PT shoes. Chatted up with some old coursemates. Made a few new friends at the guardroom. Basically whiled my time away. Btw, BDE is much slacker than it used to be. The bunks are absolutely filthy. IPPT pass rate is so low. No I don't like regimentation at all but even the basic standards are not being met... zero discipline. And I'm getting fatter no thanks to the portions of food at the cookhouse, no matter how gross.

My tuition kid did alright for his exams Thank God... but we've still got vocab and comprehension skills to work on...

BSF leader meetings every Monday have been edifying... every since school ended I've never been as disciplined in doing any form of written work for a long time... practising leading a discussion group has also been very helpful. Praise God! Still have some church admin stuff hounding me though.... *sheepish smile*

My laptop's been fully revived with an expensive 7200rpm harddisk and I'm going to gradually shift all my usage to it... its got that irritating jammed F1 key that always gets on my nerves though... and the PC mouse has a crazy self-doubleclick syndrome...

There. Only 1 month left before I start work at a school. At this point in time I don't even know what school I'm going to. Or whether my application for teaching award has been successful.

Life isn't going to be the same anymore. The way we look at things here and there, and reminscence - only 1 thing stays the same. God be with us. Amen :)

Monday, May 07, 2007

they say that in the army

Back from Taiwan... and a major spending spree... not entirely because of the trip though

Spent $950 on the tour itself
$300 on the really AWESOME C5050Z with F1.8 super bright lens (Thank God!)
$185 on a 7200rpm laptop HDD to replace the dead one in my laptop.
$335 to repair the car aircon which had a cooling coil which leaked refridgerant

So if you see me scrimping and whining.... you know why... haha.... my bank account dropped to new lows and its been making me quite shaky. Btw my car aircon is like a freezer now. Good JOB i Love it :)

Taiwan is an interesting place... think of it as a much more orderly and civilized Malaysia...

Right now I'm serving the nation... for 21 more days haha... have some really sian sentry duty have to stay overnight for the next 3 days but after that things should be a breeze... new HQ CSM seems like a nice chap... talks to me like I'm reservist... cool...

At first I was feeling quite miserable but Thank God... things are ok here... just the next 3 days of sentry at a different camp but at least there are facilities to shower.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

getting it out

its Saturday night.

A good time to reflect on certain things. Just finished with HPF anniversary. Amazing that Rev. Robert pointed out there're 366 "fear nots" in the Bible. One for each day.

My last lesson in school ever was yesterday. CS446. With a presentation. Ended with such a bang. What now? Out into the world... job hunt? Settle in teaching?

Rev Robert was busy chatting with me about his path to full-time ministry and how he intended to propose an internship programme for people considering entering ministry. But still, he recounted of how, for him at least, having worked substantially in the corporate world better equipped him to be a pastor as in he could relate directly to the people he was counselling...

Priorities. God as the ultimate priority. Serve God through the church. Through ministering to others. Serving others.

Seems things are gonna be quite busy. Monday is "the last hurrah" as Dr Cherian put it. FYP oral defence. Following week is exams on Monday and Tuesday. Friday is zao down to Taiwan with Weijian and parents.

Come back already, then is rest a few days then go back army camp for 3 wks to serve finish remnants of NSF. Come out in June. The REAL last hurrah. July go start contract teaching.

Wonder how things are on your side.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Sometimes I wonder - it's probably much easier to die for Christ than to live.

It was Saturday and we had some personal sharing after some lessons on Ecclesiastes.

The context was about Solomon, the purported writer of that Book. God told Solomon He would grant him anything he desired, and he asked for wisdom. Thus he was the wisest man under heaven ever. And with wisdom the recognition of the futility and sadness of this world.

So our teacher asked us - "If God would grant you one wish, what would you ask for?"

I asked to go straight to heaven and people looked at me like I was talking funny. Somehow there's a sort of melancholy about the way I see life nowadays. What does it mean to be a sojourner on this earth? Is it possible to take joy and happiness in the things we have now? Can we honestly do that when we know everything will eventually come to nothing?

I've felt it before. When you get so attached to something that you throw everything else out the window... its dangerous what we fix our hearts on.

I want to keep my heart beyond the things of this world. The world is merely for getting by - by the grace of God. Can we boast any bit about our accomplishments, our achievements, our great legacies? It all comes to nothing. Nothing. Striving and labouring... in the end all comes to nothing.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


It's April.

Let's address the items from my previous post.

FYP came and went in a bang. So much for all that. Now it's about whether it's going to pull my grade down or not. But I had fun. The many overnights with Simon redoing and redoing the layout. Heh. Picked up quite a few more InDesign skills and improved efficiency. Somewhat. Have to learn to plan better ahead with more detailed master pages and use paragraph styles.

MOE is settled. Going in on July if nothing else comes up. So far, none of the resumes I sent out has had any sort of reply. *sigh*

Massage was fantastic. Had a sauna then some oil stuff then this mainland Chinese woman gave a very forceful effort with lots of strength. Especially on the calves. What made it really great was that I was having a little bit of leg aching after doing the treadmill the previous day at 2.4km speed for an extended period of time... So it was quite timely indeed...

Too bad its so ex or I'd go regularly. Heh.

Congrats to WJ on his new weekend car. Chevrolet Aveo Hatchback 1.4 with really spanking good looking 14inch rims.

Exams on 23rd and 24th Apr. I'm resuming the last 3 weeks of my NS in May after coming back from Taiwan with Weijian n folks.

Visited the dentist.... after a lapse of 4 years! He says I've been brushing off the enamel of my 2 front teeth... it won't be white anymore. LOL. I wonder if I should go for wisdom tooth extraction and time it with my NS ... HAHA... but its ex... at least $300

Watched "Phantom of the Opera" on Thursday night with my little bro (okay, JC1 is not little)... its just a term of reference. Just like how MTV means "music video" and hence it was ruled was not trademark infringement of MTV the company. So in the end MTV had to buy the address from that cybersquatter :)

Filling out some irritating accident report form... i tapped the bumper of someone's Camry the other night on the expressway in a traffic jam... and he was adamant that he was going to send it back to Borneo (motors) to get it checked although the most if could have been was a scratch. Nothing was visible as anyway his car's rear bumper is higher than mine. What could happen at 5km/h anyway?

Yes it's still my fault I know... but he went on complaining about how he just resprayed his whole car (did he just have an accident?) and all that. I said why not you try the reverse sensor but he refused. Anyway I got quite fed up and just told him to claim insurance. Then his wife make so much noise ask me to sign some statement saying its my fault. Really... try to bully me ah... I told her goodbye after exchanging drivers' particulars. So here I am filling this thing up in case he really finds something to repair... and I'm backed up by photos in case he tries to be funny...

I've let ppl who've bumped and scraped my car off at least 4 times when I knew I clearly would have been able to claim money or repair from them... because to me the car is meant to be functional for use... and such things are inevitable... as a daily driver I know things do happen and ppl have been nice to me before... as long as its not substantial or functional damage I just let it off

For the love of God, I don't find happiness in making ppl pay and bleed when its just a small mistake... we must learn not to attach ourselves too much to our precious objects... even our cars :P

But I guess other ppl value different things differently...

Been having talks with various ppl abt God, faith et al. About struggles and stuff. There's also been a lot of reflecting going on after the sober video on Calvinism. About rebirth and salvation. It's hard to be a Christian sometimes, especially when you lose sight of Jesus and heaven. And you get clogged up and muddled in all the confusion in between. But never give up. As long as we obey the Spirit rather than ourselves, it will be all so easy to experience what Jesus promised -

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. - Matthew 11:30

Till next time (which I suspect will be real soon)

Jerry, pest and recalcitrant.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

life without you

fyp's picking up.

finally. I've been skiving so much with so many things going on.

So has the sending out of CVs and cover letters.

I'm going to do two things tomorrow -

1) attend MOE appointment briefing. They're only offering me a 1 yr teaching contract.

2) FREE $120 back massage at this Spa place voucher courtesy of Ning heh. Thanks lots. Let's see if its worth $120

3) tuition

I'm trying my best to busy myself for now... Don't know how to get the closure... or whether I really want to...

hai. does it have to be this way?

*silent confusion*

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Be a Barnabas

Sometimes, those little nuggets and hidden facts from the Bible really amaze you. And no its not trivia, but rather, a small little fact with really profound implications and of great teaching and encouragement value... Thanks Wing for sharing this!

And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet. - Acts 4:36-37

The case of the Levite Barnabas

At the end of Acts Chap 4 verses 36-37, it talks about a Levite Joses whom the apostles surnamed Barnabas - a Levite.

Now a Levite is of the priestly class in Jewish society - they're the sons of Aaron. They were called by God to be His priests and were to have no land inheritance.

So this Levite, having had land to his name was probably a very comfortable and well to do priest who had slacked off and decided to get some earthly wealth and inheritence of his own by buying some land, rather than fulling depending on God.

But then, upon hearing about the gospel of Christ preached by the apostles, he gave up this land, sold it, and laid it at the apostles' feet for redistribution amongst those in the young church.

It must have been initially ironic and perhaps embarassing for Barnabas to go to the apostles and admit that he had land to sell in the first place! But its in true humility, repentance and turning from the old ways to Christ's call that he did it, and its truly of the Holy Spirit~

Even for this Levite who had gone worldly, upon conviction by the Holy Spirit of truth he took action to cease his worldly ways and return to the faithful service of God.

It's quite a wake-up call for myself and perhaps those who feel like me in some ways too.

We know what its all about, the saving grace, peace and true joy and happiness. And once we gloried and went on in it. But somehow being in the world dulls our fire and enthusiasm and somehow, 1 foot gets stuck back into some of the worldliness that surrounds and permeates us.

Admitting which parts of our lives is compromise of God's standards is hard. We don't want to see it, or admit it, or draw the line.

But hey, a persecutor of Christians like Saul could become a Paul, a lukewarm Levite could become a Barnabas. We must never give up.


Wednesday, February 28, 2007

up early

(something's weird with this new upgraded blogger on my PC. No matter how many times I click "remember me" after typing in my login details the cookie will somehow forget me the next time I try to logon to it again...)

Was trying to resolve the inability to logon my brother's laptop onto the windows workgroup last night when I KOed in the aircon room on the bed... that must have been before 10pm but thank God I slept all the way and awoke at 5am... at least 7 hours of solid uninterrupted sleep amen!

Went for a jog to Red Swastika and halfway back... quite slow but okay I covered more distance than I did my previous round more than a week ago...

Had a New Year mahjong session at Jan's place... combined with betty to win $1 after playing... 2 winds I think. Her hand is super lucky and we were actually quite up until the final round when we got killed by Sam. Somehow, the thrill is kinda reduced when you win and you gotta keep checking with others as to how much you've won... but that's how lousy we are :P

watched "Just Follow Law" at bishan GV after that with the same gang @ $6 per pax... initially I found it quite clique with the usual stuff like lame jokes, stereotypes, a softporn scene.... but hey... its supposed to be a fun movie and maybe I'm thinking too much. Fann Wong is really hilarious being a guy but I suppose Gurmit had the harder job of trying to be a "niang niang qiang"... but he was quite good as an ah-beng initially gotta give him credit and noone really remembers he's not actually Chinese ? The product endorsement was way too obvious... just like the American Idol judges sipping fluids from their big "Coca-Cola" cups...

FYP's moving very slowly... that's what happens when you're too dependent on too few sources... but on the printing side I've gotten some quotes so that's not too bad. Ok there's still hope! :) *2-side saddle stitch gibberish blahblah etc*

Tested and proven - listening to Jay Chou while driving makes you drive faster lol

yesterday was Jay Chou on the way to simon's place... and back... zipping through traffic and taking the curves without a flutter.

The new shocks are good although I should have specified new springs to go along with it... the old ones are just not progressive enough and still exhibit too much float for my liking. Maybe in the very distant future.

The suspension helped a lot with grip but reduced fuel consumption efficiency by a little because of a better contact patch.

Still getting used to the small spec tall sidewall tires - but I'm not willing to change the 13inch alloys already in place... so maybe at the next tyre change I'll get the grippiest 13incher I can find :) but the reduced rolling radius also helps fuel consumption

Manual is excellent for speed control around curves without resorting to braking and frees you to power exit heh. The moving off from stationary is still irritating though with the clutch linkage/warp? problem... but that's still something quite distant in the future

The light weight does wonders for the acceleration which is very brisk due to little transmission loss and there's hardly a need to step too hard on the gas because the 1.5litre engine has plenty of pulling power

Brakes-wise the stopping power is terrible especially since it's so easy to speed in this car... can't help going fast...! lol. Rotors which are quite grinded need to be changed when the pads wear out

I like my tinted windows :P

Maybe I should send the car in for soundproofing also...

Btw, my car stereo sucks big-time ... even a newly burnt CDR also can skip... sianz... but stereos are expensive to change... just have to live with it

Ok... back to InDesign

Seeya around!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

My new ride with tinted windows @@

Toyota Soluna GLi (1st gen)
Yr of mfg: 1998
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage @ handover: 144500 km
Date of ownership: 23 Jan 2007
COE expiry: Dec 2008
Chassis: AL50
Kerb weight: 880kg
Length: 4175 mm
Width: 1660 mm
Height: 1380 mm
Wheelbase: 2380 mm
Clearance: 150mm
Engine: 5A-FE (EFI)
Displacement : 1498 cc
Power: 93.8 hp @ 5600rpm
Torque: 12.6 kgm @ 4800 rpm
Fuel tank: 45 litres
Brakes: Ventilated discs / drums
Suspension: MacPherson strut / Torsion beam
Shocks: Monroe spec
Tyres: 185/70R13 85T M+S
Alloy rims: 13 x 5.5 JJ

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Some people, it seems, in spite of all the consumer education and common sense in the world, will still have irrational tendencies. Especially when it comes to money.

They're the type who would happily scrimp as much money as they can get their hands on and hide it under their pillow. Cash is king. So to speak. Even if its at the opportunity cost of something worth more.

Take X. X has 2 options, a salary raise, or a brand new company car. Even the lousiest new car is going to cost at least $400/ month in installments. But no, X wants a measly raise of $300/mnth. Which works out to just a $260/mnth after our paternalistic government's intervention. Instead of something that would have been worth at least $400 /mnth. Why? Is there an intrinsic value with holding more cash in hand only to spend it away? Maybe. Who knows....

Of course liquidity is best. But is it worth sacrificing something potentially worth 30% more in value just for the sake of liquidity? How about the time value of money? Ah.... X didn't consider that having more of a lesser amount's worth of cash on hand rather than in kind means more depreciation on X's hands.....

Well.... I'm done ranting... heh

And btw, X would rather make 3 people take public transport that comes once every 20min and takes a long snaking half an hour route for a 10 minute commute by car because X is too.... lazy to drive.

Journey by public transport:
83 cents x 3 = $2.49 x 2 trips = $4.98.

Journey by car:
Shortest route (one-way) = 4.37 km (5 km after generous allowance)
So, travel 10km at a conservative fuel consumption of 13km/litre (my car's average is usually 16km/litre) = 0.78 litres of petrol
0.78 litres x current price of petrol @ $1.30/litre = $1.00
So, $1 petrol + $2 parking (assume we stay 2 hours there) = Grand total cost=$3

Time saved: Priceless

Sorry. I just had to do it. Hah. Hah. Hah.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

still vulnerable

its been quite a week.

I slept at 1am and awoke at 5... couldn't go back to sleep cause I had eaten too much... so I decided to go for a jog... think I covered about 3km plus... but I'm super sleepy now as a result...

on Friday I went all the way to school in the morning and almost skipped CS446. For one, I was preparing a very sloppish presentation on media outlets in Germany for the German professor...

but i felt super sian and had a severe bout of that 'I just wanna run home feeling' coming all over me...

must have been a combination of factors coming from all over the place.... the r/s thing, running around feeling miserable, being behind in my readings... fyp...

but thank God rach psychoed me enough to stay on and encouraged me a lot....

I was actually packing up to go off as I had called my mom and complained I didn't feel like going for lesson and she was like "then come join me for lunch!" - my mom rocks :)

but i managed to stay also because rach helped me quite a bit and gave me some wiki bits to add to my presentation. Thanks so much!

After class it was a church guys' night out and the 4 of us ate and ate and ate. Chicken rice with dishes at Upper Bukit Timah road hawker area opposite Beautyworld, Island Creamery at Serene Centre, then some dimsum along Upper Thomson Road on the way to Nee Soon camp. We had heart to heart sharing, chatting, advice and encouragement all round, and all concluded in unison -

The Christian life may be full of struggle as we grapple with issues of how to live in a God-pleasing manner in all aspects of our life... be it work, school, family, relationships... but then, struggle is a sign we're alive

dead things don't struggle

In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. - John 16:33

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

eyes on the prize

Thought this year it would be different.

Thought I'd finally share it with the one who'd be with me till my dying day.

Thought at last this desert of love would find its sweet oasis

Thought I wouldn't have to go through this life with my other half missing from my side.

What was this event to me anyway? Social pressure

What was the significance of this day anyway? Profitteering off people's foolishness

What of the lovey-dovy all over the TV and radio, and moving off people's lips?
Just an important day on the retail market's calendar.

What does it mean to me now? As it always had meant to me. None of my business.

Why were we so different and yet together?

Why did I believe that we could conquer the inconquerable, without God in our hearts?

Why did we have to meet, if we were ever to part?

Why give me memories that linger so bitter when I call upon them to well up in the depths of my soul?

Was I undeserving?

Was it you who drove me away?

Was it something I didn't say?

Was it the torture that kept me awake night and day?

But you weren't treating me right

But you weren't being honest about the things you said

I got tired of the lies and games

And said "if this is heaven, send me to hell"

Dear God,

I've learnt my lesson. I didn't ask for certain things, nor was I seeking them, but by following on I complied. My already wavering testimony was shamed even more. I let things get the better of me. I explained myself away. I compromised. I should have known better. I wanted to rush things myself. You - are in charge of all things, and they'll come to pass in Your good time.

Next time,

I'll find someone who deserves me

I'll find someone who is true to me

I'll not give myself away so easily

I'll make sure she actually likes me for me

So dear Lord in heaven this I pray:

That Your Will I may always obey

That You'll send someone true to You and me my way

That in the meantime on You I'll wait

That though I be alone or otherwise on You my heart will always stay

"Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised."- Proverbs 31:30

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Lawyer gives marital advice

it was quite an interesting make-up biz law class today. the lecturer said something very fun:


"I always tell my male students - if you're talking about marriage ah, and you're not sure if she's the one... you must make VERY VERY sure ok.... VERY VERY sure"

we gave him a silly look. what was he doing giving us marital advice...

"... for the ladies... I always tell them nevermind if you're not sure... no harm trying... not the one then nevermind. Why do I say all this? Because of this law called the - "

"WOMAN'S CHARTER" I answered happily...

"Oh? I've told you guys already ah?"


"yeah when a marriage goes sour this piece of legislation will make the guy suffer like crazy financially"

(please check the legalnet for details)

Hurhur. Wise words from a lawyer...

Monday, February 12, 2007

"I believe God wants you to learn something from this whole thing" - A close friend

Its been a tumultuous month of absence from my blog...

FYP's getting the last minute jitters.

Too much of an emotional roller coaster...

The "new" car's doing great... ownership takes on a new meaning when your wallet's burning.

Feel vulnerable. Manipulated. Taken for a ride. Too many love songs. Too much rose tinting on my rather damaged glasses. As it is, the rose layer is peeling and cracking. Like a shattering mirror. And the world is blunt, jagged and contorted.

Why? Because I had strayed from God's ways and wisdom. God was nowhere in the picture.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord." - Isaiah 55:8

How this truth keeps resonating in me now. How painfully I've made myself aware of it. That I went against and grieved the Holy Spirit. That I had failed to stand up when the situation came.

I am ashamed to face God.

I ignored even sound advice from different figures in my life. And church and Christian friends who meant well. But thank God for these people whom He has put in my life, because they've been there for me always.

"For thy name's sake, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great." - Psalm 25:11

Can't keep trying to stand on my own anymore. I'm so tired. Should never have strayed.

But what happens now? Oh God I pray, lead me back onto You, and never let me go. Your not-so-prodigal son is in need of Your mercy and grace.

I want to live for Your sake. Cause its the only thing that's worth living for.

Thank God for His mercies, grace and blessings. In Jesus's name.


Saturday, January 13, 2007

on blogging

I realise that having an open blog means you can't be entirely forthcoming with your blog entries. It's not that I have anything to hide, but rather that sometimes certain thoughts are just that... passing thoughts. Musings. Dwellings. Or temporary, hot anger. Stuff that eventually cools down and lets off. So putting it on record is definitely not a good way of letting it go. Putting it on public record for other people to read and see what may have been some past whining that you'd rather let go of is even worse.

Always remember the old story of this ancient person who wronged you terribly and you want to forgive but just hope that you'd rather not see this person anymore? So keeping a remembrance of what wrong this person has done to you in your bedroom is one sure way of keeping the anger alive. Blogging has a catharsis effect. But better to shout it out or whine to a close one than to keep it in permanence.

Just like old photos of my car. And old photos of other... things... Mementos. Certain songs. Old letters.

But I'm not saying its bad to keep remembrances.

Actually, its more of the state of the heart. If deep down inside you've truly let go of something - you'd remember the joy, the happiness, the lessons learnt from whatever that episode was, when you look upon that remembrance or trigger.

But when you're still hurting, out of sight is still good for dealing with it. For the time being at least. So you can sort your thoughts out.

But once you've let go of something, would you still want to blog about it? :)

But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away. - 1 Corinthians 7:29-31

Friday, January 05, 2007


The Corrs - Dreams

Now here you go again you say you want your freedom
Well who am I to keep you down
It's only right that you should play the way you feel it
But listen carefully to the sound
Of your loneliness, like a heartbeat drives you mad
In the stillness of remembering
What you had, and what you lost

Yeah, thunder only happens when it's raining
and players only loved you when they're playing
Yeah, women they will come and they will go
When the rain washes you clean you'll know
You'll know

Now here I go again I see the crystal vision
Well I keep my visions to myself
Well it's only me that wants to wrap around your dreams
and have you any dreams you'd like to sell
Dreams of loneliness, like a heartbeat, drives you mad
In the stillness of remembering
What you have yeah and what you lost

Thunder only happens when it's raining
and players only love you when they're playing
Yeah, women they will come and they will go
When the rain washes you clean you'll know
You'll know...