January 31, 2007

This is a rant.

I don’t understand. I don’t understand how Singaporeans with all our affluence and education, are intolerant, inconsiderate and treats life ‘below us’ so flippantly, so disposable.

I am upset that people thinks that as long as a living being ceased to be of benefit to the society, it is alright to kill them off, as long as it is done humanely. First of all, to deliberately cause death to another being just because it serves no purpose is NOT humane no matter what method is employed. Second of all, what values are we teaching our young? That is alright to humanely ‘off’ us when we are old, useless and a burden???

I hope 30 years on, I won’t become another death statistic just because I am old and useless to society. Not that younger Singaporean will care then.

I am upset that we think we can treat our domestic helpers and foreign workers with snobbery. They are looked down upon, shouted at, invisible to us all when all this time we know jolly well we can’t live without them. Not that we care. They are disposable items in our books.

But don’t forget, our grandparents and great grandparents were once the Amahs, Ahmads, coolies. They used to do backbreaking work under the hot sun. Just because we are privileged now, doesn’t mean we should forget where we came from. Where is our humility?

The debate on the HDB’s ban on cats goes to show how intolerant Singaporeans can be. So dogs bark and cats caterwaul. Humans are guilty of bigger crimes. We litter, scream, shout, laugh, sing, play out loud without consideration for our neighbours. But we generally tolerate these nonsense. Why? Is it because we are humans and therefore our lives are valuable and important and animals’ are not? Or is it because animals are smaller & therefore we can speak against them but humans are bigger & therefore to save ourselves from a whallop we swallow the inconvenience in silence?

Just because we have a bigger brain doesn’t make us better. Animals live on this planet longer than we have. And I bet they will be around after we humanely kill each other off.

I question our education. I bet most of us don’t even understand the purpose of education. You may disagree with me but the way I see it, education is not about scoring good grades and making into the university and getting a well paid job. Education is about developing yourself, your mind and your character, to become a better person to serve the society.

A society with intelligent people but without kindness and compassion is not well served.

Yes, I am in bad mood. I’m sick & miserable right now. And I am probably not making any sense here. Hell.

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Inspiring

January 29, 2007

From Sports Illustrated, by Rick Reilly

I try to be a good father. But compared with Dick Hoyt, I suck.

85 times he’s pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in Marathons. Eight times he’s not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars–all in the same day.

Dick’s also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back mountain climbing and once hauled him across the US on a bike. Makes taking your son bowling look a little lame, right?

And what has Rick done for his father? Not much – except save his life.

This love story began in Winchester, Mass., 43 years ago, when Rick was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs.

“He’ll be a vegetable the rest of his life”, Dick says doctors told him and his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. “Put him in an Institution.”

But the Hoyts weren’t buying it. They noticed the way Rick’s eyes followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the Engineering Department at Tufts University and asked if there was anything to help the boy communicate.

“No way”, Dick says he was told. “There’s nothing going on in his brain.”

“Tell him a joke”, Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed. Turns out a lot was going on in his brain.

Rigged up with a computer that allowed him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his head, Rick was finally able to communicate. First words? “Go Bruins!”

And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the school organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, “Dad, I want to do that.”

Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described “porker” who never ran more than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he tried. “Then it was me who was handicapped,” Dick says. “I was sore for two weeks.”

That day changed Rick’s life. “Dad,” he typed, “when we were running, it felt like I wasn’t disabled anymore!” And that sentence changed Dick’s life. He became obsessed with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon.

“No way,” Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren’t quite a single runner, and they weren’t quite a wheelchair competitor. For a few Years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway. Then they found a way to get into the race officially:

In 1983 they ran another Marathon so fast they made the qualifying time for Boston the following year. Then somebody said, “Hey, Dick, why not a triathlon?”

How’s a guy who never learned to swim and hadn’t ridden a bike since he was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon? Still, Dick tried. Now they’ve done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour Ironmans in Hawaii. It must be a buzzkill to be a 25-year-old stud getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don’t you think?

Hey, Dick, why not see how you’d do on your own? “No way,” he says. Dick does it purely for “the awesome feeling” he gets seeing Rick with a cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.

This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their best time?: Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992 – only 35 minutes off the world record, which, in case you don’t keep track of these things, happens to be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the time.

“No question about it,” Rick types. “My Dad is the Father of the Century.” And Dick got something else out of all this too.

Two years ago he had a mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his arteries was 95% clogged. “If you hadn’t been in such great shape,” one doctor told him, “you probably would’ve died 15 years ago.” So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other’s life.

Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston, and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland, Mass., always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country and compete in some backbreaking race every weekend, including this Father’s Day.

That night, Rick will buy his Dad dinner, but the thing he really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy.

“The thing I’d most like,” Rick types, “is that my dad sit in the chair and I push him once.”


TODAY’s Voices

January 29, 2007

Coverage on the ‘cats in HDB’ debate.
Read the letters here.

January 26, 2007

Found blood in Wawa’s urine this evening. Vegancat said it is FLUTD & recommended wet food with salmon & lots of water.

I think Beauty has it as well. Caught her urinating outside the litterbox twice over the last two nights.

So no more dry food for Chaos, only wet ones for now. Poor Ruby. She’s gonna be hungry. She’s not much of a wet food cat. She loves dry food despite being toothless.

Fast Food Nation

January 26, 2007


Gives a good insight into the fast food industry and meat packing industries as well.

After this, you probably will think twice before sinking your teeth into that Big Mac or cut into a beef steak or chicken chop.

So if you are a die-hard meat eater, this book is probably not for you.

January 24, 2007

Had another conversation with this acquaintance of mine about her kitten.

She insists that kitten is not really hers. It was her expat flatmate that took the kitten home & therefore the kitten should be the flatmate’s. She just happens to live there & therefore happens to play with it.

However, she does sometimes buy the cat food because the ‘owner’ is a scattered brain. Just the other day, she was telling me they fed the cat bread because they ran out of catfood. I ended giving her the reserve I had stashed for Peanut & Sesame & some cans of tuna (originally meant for Tua Tao).

I asked her again, have they or has she plan for the future of the kitten? Still not vaccinated nor sterilised. No cat food in the flat. This arrangement is unacceptable. I told her if she is unable to care for the kitten, please bring it to my office. One more cat here is not going to be big difference to us.

January 23, 2007

Alex is down with a very bad case of flu. He’s a mess right now. He had been sneezing most of the night.

Suspected so. He was pretty down last week, losing interest in play, food & even free cuddles! Have put him on Vibravet & extra Vit C & monitor his condition closely. Looks like the trip to the groomers this Saturday will have to be postponed.

Picture’s very out of focus – this is what happens when I operate without caffiene ….

Bathe Time

January 22, 2007

The kittens got their weekly bathe today. The Auntie uses baby wipes & they got a rub down from their eyes, face, all the way to their little backsides. She was very thorough.

I have to give it to her. Auntie really has her ways with the kids. They didn’t put up any fights whatsoever.

She used to bathe the cats with water & Dettol until I found out & gave her baby wipes instead. For her, Dettol is the cure for everything external. I had to use the word ‘poison’ to stop her from using Dettol ever again on cats.

First was Sesame.
Then came Peanut & Auntie finally captured on photo!

Grumps finally on YouTube!

January 20, 2007

January 19, 2007

Have you ever finished a day feeling rotten? I mean most days, I would finish work feeling good. Tired but good & sometimes accomplished. But not today. I am ashamed of myself, to be honest.

I had a late lunch today in Maxwell. As I was heading back to my office, at the cross road junction I saw an hunched back old man. He looks like a rag-and-bone, collecting soda cans from the rubbish bin. And he looks a little mentally-challenged to me. He shuffled very slowly to the traffic light, carrying 2 large bags of empty cans.

I was waiting to cross to another side of the road. Because he shuffled so slowly, he missed his green man & had to wait for the next one. In that moment when I saw him, a voice inside my head said ‘help him, talk to him.’ But my feet didn’t move towards him. Instead, I turn to cross my side of the road.

During the walk back, I silently cursed myself. Why didn’t I help him? I wasn’t rushing for time. In fact, I had time to spare.

Then a thought struck me. I was embarrassed to be seen helping him. I started thinking of past encounters where I could have stepped in to help but didn’t and it was pretty consistent. I was embarrassed & I did not want to be the odd one standing out. I want to belong, to be popular, to be able to blend into the group.

This afternoon I saw ugly me and I’m not proud of me.