Tough Cookie Horlicks

Horlicks gave me a fright 2 nights ago.  I opened the sliding door at the side of my house to take a peek at the bunnies.  I saw Horlicks dashing in from the car porch, and there was blood on her front left paw.  I quickly went to check on her and saw that the line of blood on her front left paw was about an inch long.  The cut on her hind left paw was worse, it went almost 3/4 way around her ankle.  Thankfully, she could run and there didn’t seem to be any problems with her movements. 

I went to look for Pinky next.  Was worried that some cat could’ve gotten in and attacked them or something.  Panicked for a moment ‘cos I couldn’t find Pinky anywhere in the car porch!!  Luckily, the little boy was lying down safely in the backyard, next to the washing machine, oblivious as usual to Horlicks’ antics.

I tried to use wet cotton wool to wipe the blood from Horlicks’ paws but she wouldn’t keep still.  In the end, I took a cup and poured water over the paws to try to “clean” the wound. 

Later on that night, when I went to check on the bunnies, Horlicks’ had licked off all the blood stains.  That’s a good thing I suppose ‘cos saliva has anti-septic properties.  She seemed all right when I peeped at her last night (got home pretty late) and this morning.  Will continue to observe her the next few days… will need to check for signs of infection too.  Sigh.

I have no idea how Horlicks got injured.  She might’ve tried jumping onto the rectangular flower stand that extends along the side walls of the car porch, or slipped and caught her paws in the drain cover.  She’s just too daring and you can’t restrict her movements either ‘cos the pent up energy will just explode and she’ll start picking fights with other bunnies.

*Shakes head*.  I do hope she learns from this and takes more care in her explorations from now on!

Don’t Say Govt Stingy…

Saw in the news today that PM Lee said: "In a big economy, you can boost consumption. The government gives money, people spend it and it’s spent within the economy. Most of it stays in, a little bit of it leaks out. You get a multiplier and the economic activity goes up.

In Singapore if people spend money, most of the money goes overseas because we are so open and most of the demand is abroad. Most of the money we spend is spent on things which come from abroad so it’s not possible for us to pump- prime the economy in the same way that other governments do. But there are other things we can do (such as) reducing costs and helping citizens directly.”

Hmm… is the government tracking my Coach and Kate Spade purchases?

Overweight

I think Pinky needs to lose weight urgently.  He’s getting fatter and fatter.  I told my mom this morning that my dad is essentially killing Pinky by overfeeding.  As it is, Pinky’s tummy, instead of being curved in like normal rabbits, is bulging out.  When he lies stretched out, his body is way bigger than his shoulders and hind legs.  Pinky’s father, Muah Chee, died at a very young age – about 3 years old – 99% ‘cos of overweight, which can lead to heart disease, diabetes, intestinal congestion, etc.

I’m going to measure out the amount of pellets Pinky is allowed to eat per day.  (That’s what my dad overfeeds – pellets and grains).  I think I shall buy some toys to motivate him to play more – run around, hop, whatever.  Sigh.

We need to save our favourite bunny!!  🙁

Common Cents

This is the stuff that gives me high blood pressure at work.  Not that I’m particularly mad about this or something but sometimes the stupidity just gets to me.

I sent this to the underwriter (u/wer) and asked him to confirm that my computation is correct.

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The u/wer replied saying that I undercharged the premium ‘cos my table shows that the exposure ends on 1 Oct 2010 when in actual fact it ends on 31 Dec 2010.

I’m like duh?!  Sorry if I left out some details but there’s no change in the amount what!!  So I’m amending my table to this and resending it to him.

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DUH!?!

global recession hits the forbidden city

dear fans of the most desirable Pinky,

it has been some time since i wrote to everyone.  i have been doing fine.  life was good and there was little to complain about… till my chef cum chauffeur decided to go to Germany.  he handed over the duty of serving my gourmet meals to my maid but she’s such a lazy worker.  instead of serving my dinner daily at 7pm, she has been serving it to me at 9pm.  "working late" was her excuse.  gosh.  what work could be more important that ensuring that my needs & wants are met?

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picture of my mom and me dying from hunger

my mom & i nearly died of starvation tonight when our dinner arrived at 9:10pm.  don’t these minions know that we bunnies need to eat constantly to ensure that our digestive system doesn’t shut down for good?  skipping a meal could be fatal you know. 

in addition, instead of giving my mother and me yummy pellets every night, she has been skimping on it and substituting half the serving with hay.  putting me on a diet for health reasons, she claims.  oh the torture my poor little soul has to suffer.  thank goodness my breakfast is taken care of by my maid’s mom.

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even the long suffering auntie Peanut was miserable.  sigh.  this global downturn is hitting us bunnies badly too.  everybunny’s feeling the gloom & doom.  i sure hope my chauffeur comes home soon.

hungrily yours,

Pinky

Poor President-Elect, Obama

This never really crossed my mind before – that those in office might not be allowed to use e-mail or other similar forms of online communication.  I feel Obama’s pain…

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November 16, 2008

Lose the BlackBerry? Yes He Can, Maybe

By JEFF ZELENY

WASHINGTON — Sorry, Mr. President. Please surrender your BlackBerry.

Those are seven words President-elect Barack Obama is dreading but expecting to hear, friends and advisers say, when he takes office in 65 days.

For years, like legions of other professionals, Mr. Obama has been all but addicted to his BlackBerry. The device has rarely been far from his side — on most days, it was fastened to his belt — to provide a singular conduit to the outside world as the bubble around him grew tighter and tighter throughout his campaign.

“How about that?” Mr. Obama replied to a friend’s congratulatory e-mail message on the night of his victory.

But before he arrives at the White House, he will probably be forced to sign off. In addition to concerns about e-mail security, he faces the Presidential Records Act, which puts his correspondence in the official record and ultimately up for public review, and the threat of subpoenas. A decision has not been made on whether he could become the first e-mailing president, but aides said that seemed doubtful.

For all the perquisites and power afforded the president, the chief executive of the United States is essentially deprived by law and by culture of some of the very tools that other chief executives depend on to survive and to thrive. Mr. Obama, however, seems intent on pulling the office at least partly into the 21st century on that score; aides said he hopes to have a laptop computer on his desk in the Oval Office, making him the first American president to do so.

Mr. Obama has not sent a farewell dispatch from the personal e-mail account he uses — he has not changed his address in years — but friends say the frequency of correspondence has diminished. In recent days, though, he has been seen typing his thoughts on transition matters and other items on his BlackBerry, bypassing, at least temporarily, the bureaucracy that is quickly encircling him.

A year ago, when many Democratic contributors and other observers were worried about his prospects against Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, they reached out to him directly. Mr. Obama had changed his cellphone number, so e-mail remained the most reliable way of communicating directly with him.

“His BlackBerry was constantly crackling with e-mails,” said David Axelrod, the campaign’s chief strategist. “People were generous with their advice — much of it conflicting.”

Mr. Obama is the second president to grapple with the idea of this self-imposed isolation. Three days before his first inauguration, George W. Bush sent a message to 42 friends and relatives that explained his predicament.

“Since I do not want my private conversations looked at by those out to embarrass, the only course of action is not to correspond in cyberspace,” Mr. Bush wrote from his old address, G94B@aol.com. “This saddens me. I have enjoyed conversing with each of you.”

But in the interceding eight years, as BlackBerrys have become ubiquitous — and often less intrusive than a telephone, the volume of e-mail has multiplied and the role of technology has matured. Mr. Obama used e-mail to stay in constant touch with friends from the lonely confines of the road, often sending messages like “Sox!” when the Chicago White Sox won a game. He also relied on e-mail to keep abreast of the rapid whirl of events on a given campaign day.

Mr. Obama’s memorandums and briefing books were seldom printed out and delivered to his house or hotel room, aides said. They were simply sent to his BlackBerry for his review. If a document was too long, he would read and respond from his laptop computer, often putting his editing changes in red type.

His messages to advisers and friends, they say, are generally crisp, properly spelled and free of symbols or emoticons. The time stamps provided a window into how much he was sleeping on a given night, with messages often being sent to staff members at 1 a.m. or as late as 3 a.m. if he was working on an important speech.

He received a scaled-down list of news clippings, with his advisers wanting to keep him from reading blogs and news updates all day long, yet aides said he still seemed to hear about nearly everything in real time. A network of friends — some from college, others from Chicago and various chapters in his life — promised to keep him plugged in.

Not having such a ready line to that network, staff members who spent countless hours with him say, is likely to be a challenge.

“Given how important it is for him to get unfiltered information from as many sources as possible, I can imagine he will miss that freedom,” said Linda Douglass, a senior adviser who traveled with the campaign.

Mr. Obama has, for at least brief moments, been forced offline. As he sat down with a small circle of advisers to prepare for debates with Senator John McCain, one rule was quickly established: No BlackBerrys. Mr. Axelrod ordered everyone to put their devices in the center of a table during work sessions. Mr. Obama, who was known to sneak a peek at his, was no exception.

In the closing stages of the campaign, as exhaustion set in and the workload increased, aides said Mr. Obama spent more time reading than responding to messages. As his team prepares a final judgment on whether he can keep using e-mail, perhaps even in a read-only fashion, several authorities in presidential communication said they believed it was highly unlikely that he would be able to do so.

Diana Owen, who leads the American Studies program at Georgetown University, said presidents were not advised to use e-mail because of security risks and fear that messages could be intercepted.

“They could come up with some bulletproof way of protecting his e-mail and digital correspondence, but anything can be hacked,” said Ms. Owen, who has studied how presidents communicate in the Internet era. “The nature of the president’s job is that others can use e-mail for him.”

She added: “It’s a time burner. It might be easier for him to say, ‘I can’t be on e-mail.’ ”

Should Mr. Obama want to break ground and become the first president to fire off e-mail messages from the West Wing and wherever he travels, he could turn to Al Gore as a model. In the later years of his vice presidency, Democrats said, Mr. Gore used a government e-mail address and a campaign address in his race against Mr. Bush.

The president, though, faces far greater public scrutiny. And even if he does not wear a BlackBerry on his belt or carry a cellphone in his pocket, he almost certainly will not lack from a variety of new communication.

On Saturday, as Mr. Obama broadcast the weekly Democratic radio address, it came with a twist. For the first time, it was also videotaped and will be archived on YouTube.

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TPJC Friends

Attended a really really old friend’s wedding last week.  I classify this friend as my "TPJC friend" though that’s not really accurate.  I was in TPJC during the first 3 months of my JC 1st year.  This friend, NSG, was in TJC during the first 3 months.  After the ‘O’ level results were out, I transferred to TJC while NSG transferred to TPJC.  Coincidentally, NSG was placed in the same class as my ex-TPJC classmates and I also got to know his TJC classmates after I went to TJC.  So through these common friends, we became friends too.

I haven’t spoken much to NSG in recent years but I regard him as a very special, old friend.  During our JC years, I used to borrow his scanner to scan photos for my personal homepage.  Years later, when I was in real estate, he also introduced me to his uncle’s company, of which I closed 1 (or 2) deals with the company.  I was touched that he helped made that introduction ‘cos we drifted apart when he was doing his national service and I was in NTU. 

In that sense, I really treasure the people I got to know in TPJC.  I feel that they are less selfish than some of my classmates in TJC and their sincerity makes me trust them completely.  There’s another friend I made during the 3 months in TPJC… though we never met again after we both left TPJC, he knew I was in real estate when I spammed my handphone address book to market my services.  3 years later, though I had left real estate by then, this friend nonetheless contacted me and wanted to buy a flat through me.  I was truly touched.

Anyway, I saw 4 TPJC friends I knew during NSG’s wedding last week and we promptly exchanged handphone numbers and facebook contacts.  Though I haven’t seen them in the last decade, conversation flowed easily and I was totally at ease with them.  It was like I could laugh with all my heart and not have to guard against anything or anyone.  It was great.

Here’s a group photo we took at the end of the dinner.

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From left: Me, LL (gal in pink dress – my TPJC friend’s classmate after I left TPJC), HPY (guy in white shirt), NSG, NSG’s wife (I know her from TPJC too!  Haha.  Don’t you lurve her Grecian looking gown?  It’s lovely isn’t it?), Spacer (guy in light blue shirt in back row), Rain (gal in satin blue dress in front row), Ange (she’s my primary school classmate… we went to different sec schools but met again in TPJC) and Eteo (guy in striped shirt).

Spacer and HPY said I look pretty much the same as when I was in JC.  I think they look the same too!  Here’s a pic of HPY and NSG to prove it!

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Remarkable huh?  Haha.  Cheerios people!

Outdoor Shoot Locations

Iceman wanted to test his new Nikon D90 so we decided to check out some places that might make for good wedding photoshoot locations.  Here’re some photos from Blair Plain.

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Chanced upon some photos of Kampong Lorong Buangkok.  Thought this might be a potentially nice place too.

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Looks really rustic doesn’t it?  The instructions I got on getting there is, take SBS bus no. 88 and alight at the junction of Ang Mo Kio Ave 5 and Yio Chu Kang Road, then walk towards Gerald Drive.

 

Was trawling through my old website and saw these old photos… the first was taken somewhere near Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal… though I can’t really remember the exact location.  Some friends found it on their cycling trip.  The second location was also chanced upon by my friends when they were cycling. 

id4

 

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Heh… these 2 photos are like 10 years (or more) old.  But I think I should still be able to find these places? 

Civil Commotion in Bunny Land

There was total chaos, bordering on anarchy in the Forbidden City last night.  After my dad flew off to HK/Germany on Thursday morning, the bunnies had to stop their usual routine of visiting one another’s enclosure.  (Horlicks & Pinky share 1 enclosure while Peanut & Coffee share another enclosures.  My dad has a nightly routine of taking turns to lock one pair of bunnies up in their individual cages and let the other pair into the locked bunnies’ enclosure.  We have to do this ‘cos Coffee will fight with Horlicks and Pinky). 

Anyway, at about 1am plus last night, I was about to shower when my mom called & said that Horlicks had breached the wire fence separating the 2 enclosures and was engaging Coffee in a fight in Coffee’s enclosure.  In the ensuing chaos, the best my mom could do was to take a polycarbonate sheet to separate the 2 fighting bunnies.  Peanut was terrified & crouched in a corner in her cage.  Pinky… well… Pinky was just nonchalant.  In fact, he took the opportunity to finish all the pellets in Horlicks’ food tray before eating the pellets in his.  Greedy boy.

I tried to carry Horlicks to put her back into her enclosure but erm, her butt was a little wet from spraying urine across Coffee’s enclosure (a sign of marking her territory… it’s the way bunnies harass one another… like how loansharks splash red paint outside defaulting borrowers’ homes) so I didn’t really want to hug her against me.  In the end, I had to lift up the wire fence separating the 2 enclosures and literally push Horlicks back into her territory. 

Next, Iceman and I had to calm all the bunnies down (except Pinky who was still eating) as they were all very agitated.  I was quite worried the stress would give them a heart attack.  My mom, Iceman and I deliberated quite a while over how to prevent Horlicks from jumping over to Coffee’s side again.  Horlicks is quite a high jumper and so it’s extremely easy for her to jump over the wire fence which is about slightly above my knee (I’m 1.62m tall… sorry I can’t quite estimate the height of the fence).

We ended up using a polycarbonate sheet to separate the 2 enclosures as it’s about waist high.  Iceman and I also coaxed Pinky and a sulking Horlicks into the backyard to allow them to run a bit.  That seemed to pacify Horlicks (she has sooo much pent up energy). 

Decided to follow my dad’s nightly routine tonight… which meant taking turns to allow the bunnies to have a free run of the entire side yard and front porch area.  I think they were all happy with the exercise.  Certainly hope this would discourage Horlicks from launching another attack on Coffee!  Sigh.