Goodbye 2008

It’s the last day of the year again.  Am typing this ‘cos I’ve been instructed to “nuah” for another couple of minutes while I wait for Azure to go for our last lunch of 2008.  Heehee.

It has been a great year at work.  Business (at least before 4Q) was good for the political risk insurance industry and save for some arseholes, it has been pleasant working with the underwriters globally.

Anyway, it’s time to shut down my office pc now.  Will be booting up again in 2009.  Bye for now…

Random Photos – Nov & Dec 2008

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When one cannot decide to poop or sleep.

 

 

 

 

 

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MC eyes my Awfully Chocolate cake!

 

 

 

 

 

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Strange find in a multi-storey carpark… (forgot which though).

 

 

 

 

 

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Upsize’s meal from Sun with Moon Restaurant at Wheelock Place.  I just thought the hourglass was cool!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Having a good time with great company at Balaclava on Boxing Day.

 

 

 

 

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Here’s a clearer, thus small pic.  😛

 

 

 

Loads of random pics.  🙂

Presidential Inaugural Committee

Got this from the website: Donors to the Presidential Inaugural Committee.

“In keeping with President-elect Obama’s commitment to changing the way business is done in Washington, the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) is taking unprecedented steps to insure transparency in the public reporting of donors to a Presidential Inaugural Committee. This chart will allow you to view, sort, and search virtually real-time information on all donors contributing over $200 to the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee…”

I think it’s great that Obama is committed to making changes… but I wonder how does one insure transparency… hmm…

Christmas Isn’t Christmas

That’s one of my favourite Christmas carols.  Hope you liked the random video I pulled from youtube.  🙂

So how did you spend Christmas?  I had a lovely time this year.  Started with Christmas service in church, followed by a Christmas potluck with my cellgroup, having drinks with friends at Balaclava on Friday, a mini family gathering on Saturday and culminating in a crab makan session on Sunday.  I’m blessedly happy to be in company of friends and family.  It’s been really nice having Iceman in church the past few Sundays too.  I think 2008 has been a great year.  🙂

You know, JLC should be renamed Just Loving Christmas.

Finger the Noun

For a very long time, I’ve struggled with the use of the word "invite".  I’ve always understood "invite" to be a verb, e.g. you invite someone to your house for a Christmas party.  However, these days, "invite" is commonly used to replace the word "invitation", e.g. I received a wedding invite from my friend yesterday.

So far, I’ve switched between using "invite" and the correct "invitation" depending on the situation.  At times when I need to use short forms, like when typing an sms, I will use "invite’ in place of "invitation".  However, this exchanging of a verb for a noun really got to me when I watched the show, "The Real Wedding Crashers" today.  Verbs and nouns were thoroughly mixed up in the show.  The 2 examples that really annoyed me were:

1) Did I ash into the car?  (Meaning: Did I throw ash into the car) &

2) The big reveal (Meaning: The big revelation).

What the heck was wrong with these people!  I mean, the above was just sooooo darn wrong.  And to prove why one shouldn’t mix up nouns and verbs… this classic example happened to me at Balaclava just now.

EA was talking animatedly to 3 female colleagues and as he punctured his speech with gestures, he accidentally stuck out his middle finger.  I cut in (a bit too) quickly and said,

"Eh EA!  Why you finger her!"

Immediately, Booze Queen responded saying, "Oh… that sounds damn wrong".

I was about to clarify myself by saying, "Er, I meant why did you show your finger to her".

But I didn’t get a chance lah… ‘cos EA, not catching what I said (think he heard something else), turned to me and said,

"UTG, you’re correct".

Anyway, bottomline is, don’t mix up your verbs and nouns.  It’s just… so wrong.

Epitome of No Sense of Direction

image I had an argument with my mom this morning.  Every morning, I take the PIE and exit via slip road 3A to get to Simei Road.  Last Sunday, a new traffic light became operational at the slip road.  This traffic light helps pedestrians walking from Tampines St 31 to Simei Road to cross the slip road.

While I detest having an extra red light to stop at on my way to Simei MRT, I guess it’s right to install a traffic light there to prevent pedestrians from dashing across the slip road as cars usually move at a pretty fast speed as the slip road is down slope.

My mom complained that she doesn’t see the point of having a traffic light there as it serves no purpose.  My dad tried to explain this to her before but she keeps saying it “serves no purpose”.  So I tried to reason with her this morning. 

My mom said that pedestrians should cross to the opposite side of Tampines St 31 before walking down to Simei Road.  I was like huh?  If a person wanted to get to the bus-stop on exit 3A side of Simei Road, why would that person cut across to the opposite side, and then cross back again?  Moreover, even if a person was walking down from the opposite side of Tampines St 31, that person would still have to deal with the slip road at exit 3B right?

Then my mom said, but there’s no way you can walk down from Tampines St 31.  I was like, why not?  There’s a pavement all the way so why can’t you walk?  My mom then said, “How can there be a pavement all the way?  Cars can drive horizontally across Tampines St 31 what”.

This got me totally lost.  Since when was there a perpendicular road cutting across Tampines St 31?  This was the route we take when we go home from Tampines.  Duh?! 

My mom then said, “Of course there is what!  The road that you’re driving on before you exit at the slip road.  That road cuts horizontally across what!”.

*Faints*.  I nearly died on the spot.  I was like, “Mom… that’s the PIE.  It’s an elevated expressway that goes ABOVE Tampines St 31.  Don’t you realise that’s why we have to TURN OFF the PIE down a slip road that’s on a DOWNWARD SLOPE?  The PIE and the roads below aren’t even on the same level!”.

My mom wasn’t fully convinced.  She said to “see again tomorrow”.  I told her I’d gladly bet $100 with her but she didn’t take up my bet of course.  Good grief.  This must be the epitome of “no sense of direction”.  Gosh… it’s not just a lack of sense of direction… it’s a total lack of awareness with regard to the surroundings!

Gift Exchange

With Christmas round the corner, everyone’s rushing to do some "last minute Christmas shopping".  I was buying some toiletries at Watson’s just now and the lady in the cashier queue behind me was loaded with tons of pre-wrapped decorative items, face towels, etc.  As she dumped the entire load onto the cashier counter (knocking into me in the process), her hand reached out to grab some teddy bear candle/wax that was at the shelf just below the cashier.  My immediate thought – a lot of people are going to get some very useless gifts this Christmas.

Sometimes I think whoever came up with the idea of having a gift exchange did it to save money from buying a gift for everyone.  I suppose if everyone participated wholeheartedly, having a gift exchange could be fun.  Unfortunately, more often than not, a gift exchange (especially office ones!) is a place where most presents given end up as unwelcomed, "white elephant" gifts.

Take Iceman for example.  His kind colleagues have ensured that his cup will never runneth over.  Kind of hard when you have 5 spare cups sitting in the cupboard.  Thankfully, I’m not subject to any mindless gift exchanges in the office.

A couple of years ago, my church cellgroup decided to put a little twist to this whole gift exchange thing.  Instead of getting a random gift for someone in the cellgroup, a "white elephant gift exchange" was introduced.  The idea is to exchange an unused gift that you received with someone else in the cellgroup – with the hope that the recipient can find some function for the gift.  Heh.  Some funny gifts have appeared in the last 2 white elephant gift exchanges.  I think my personal favourite has got to be this coughing ashtray.

Anyway, Iceman was subjected to another gift exchange this year.  Instead of buying another meaningless gift, Iceman thought maybe he should write a cheque of $15 and address it to a charity.  That way, he would be helping the recipient make a donation to the less fortunate this Christmas.  I thought that was a brilliant suggestion.  After all, what could be more meaningful than the gift of giving this Christmas season? 

Not sure if Iceman went ahead with that idea because there was some resistance from some of his colleagues when he told them the idea.  *Rolls eyes*.  Perhaps some people prefer white elephant gifts after all.  I suppose I could dig up some useless photo frame for them…