The John C. Stennis Strike Group (JCSSG) visited Singapore in late January, 2012. I was invited by the US Embassy to the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis, CVN-74, for a lovely meal and a tour of the massive vessel. Here are some of my images of that visit.
The work has begun on my living room. My home is a hive of activity. Couriers delivering packages of lighting product, the interior designer, the electricians and the painters, flow in and out of my home.
The kids are very excited about it all, thinking it all a fun game. But the wife and I are a little stressed out with the dust and messiness that comes with renovation. We do a lot of sweeping, dusting and mopping every day because dust is everywhere. Still, we tell ourselves that it will soon be over and the it will be worth the trouble.
I didn't know Philips made so many different kinds of light fixtures too. It was pretty impressive to see their various products on our living room floor, waiting to be installed. I heard it was going to be a full LED makeover. I've never had LED lights in my home before (only on my bicycles) so I was very curious to see how they looked in my living room.
One of the challenges involves ensuring the kids don't knock over or pull the new lights down. We told the team that our oldest, Faith, who has autism, had a tendency to yank at dangling fixtures and they took it into account when hanging some of the lights.
Also challenging was shifting my television spot to the other wall to accommodate the new study area for the kids. I didn't realise shifting a television area meant shifting a whole lot of stuff. The cable point, power sockets, and even a Cat 6 network point, had to be created anew at the other wall. I have media players that function as network drives and that was the reason a new network point had to be installed. Even surround speakers had to be rearranged.
It is easy to forget that rearranging the living room impacts so many infrastructure areas because you set them up when you first move in, and you never think of it again.
But the team was patient and understanding with my requirements. And I did my best to help them move stuff out of the way so they could work, like furniture and my curious children (they ended up at my mom's).
Looking forward to the finished living room very much. Fingers crossed.
By the way, In support of Earth Hour, Philips will lightover up to 3 children's homes if they receive 1,500 pledges. Log on to facebook.com/philipslightingsingapore to make a pledge and share with your friends to help make that happen.
It started as a zebra crossing argument. The younger man got angry and called the older guy's car a "L*n J*ao Fellari". Then the sports-car-owning Uncle Fellari got more than he bargained for when he challenged him with a "Lai! Lai!" and landed the first blow.
What was supposed to be between one goblock and another goblock quickly escalated into a gang bang.
Looks like Arrogant Uncle Fellari wanted to be Ip Man, until he took an arrow to the knee. Make that several arrows.
The lot who ganged up on him aren't any better. Ganging up on him was just as wrong as him swinging the first punch.
Watch the sneakiest one, the fella in white carrying a sling bag. You will notice he doesn't really fight, just dances around like he does, and finally when the Uncle Fellari is on the floor after everyone has had a go at him, Sneaky Goblock goes over and steps on him.
And the video has also led to the latest catchphrase, "Delete your f**king phone!", a phrase that will puzzle those who don't speak yob. How do you delete a physical phone?
Lesson of the day: Don't be an arrogant prick, don't pick fights, swallow your pride and walk away, because it can go from 1v1 to 10v1 very quickly.
And oh, don't get caught on video, because the cops are going to find every one of you and haul you in. I bet, really soon.
Update: I got a call from POSB to apologise for the inconvenience this has caused and also to get my feedback. Thanks for calling, guys.
When the DBS/POSB ATM overseas skimming fraud happened, people got worried about losing their money.
Then DBS/POSB sent us new unsolicited ATM cards, their GO! Card, as a security measure, saying that we had to activate this new ATM cum Debit card at an ATM.
Frankly I just need an ATM card. Why foist a debit card on me too? I don't want thieves to be able to access my account with just a signature, whereas in the past, they needed to know my PIN.
Though to DBS/POSB's credit, the debit card withdrawal limit is set to $1 until you change it. Still, it is disconcerting to know that my friends didn't even know their GO! Cards are debit cards and they have their white strip left blank instead of signing on it.
The new card issued to me has the overseas withdrawal function disabled by default, in the light of the skimming of some of their customers' cards. You have to enable that overseas feature yourself now. Fine, I can understand that.
So I go and try activating my new POSB GO! Card at an ATM one night, only to discover there was an "office hours" timing to activate cards at ATMs.
Fine. My fault for not reading your fine print about activation hours. Wasted my 18 cents parking. Never mind.
Tried activating again during the day. Unsuccessful. I am getting very annoyed.
Wife's card was activated at the ATM successfully though.
So I call the DBS/POSB hotline and was told to either send some form by mail or come down to any branch to get a new card issued.
To run salt on my wound, I get an SMS from DBS/POSB that same day, saying:
"Fr DBS: Yr new card and PIN should have arrived. Pls activate it immediately as yr old card ending XXXX will be closed on XX MAR 2012. For enquiries, pls call +65 62201111."
That deadline is just a few days away. Thanks DBS/POSB. Thanks hor.
I made my way to a POSB branch and oh my goodness, a long long long queue of people all with ATM activation problems.
After queuing at the POSB "May I Help You" counter for 26 mins (guy in front of me had a complex transaction that took up a lot of the teller's time), it was finally my turn and I am told to join the even LONGER queue to sort out my ATM card.
May I Help You, your head lah.
To quote my friend Callan, "Thanks a lot for the trouble it takes to activate a new ATM card that I didn't ask for, DBS/POSB."
Eh, DBS/POSB. My ancient ATM card was working fine lah. Why did you send me your new GO! Card and force me to activate it? The skimming fraud was your security problem but you made it mine.
And I even had one friend who apparently had her old ATM card deactivated before she got the new GO! Card in the mail.
I am still in the queue for my turn at the counter. I am surrounded by the young and old. Some of the older folks probably never had to deal with this kind of complicated nonsense their whole lives beyond the first time they opened their account. You can see the confusion on their faces as they queue in frustration.
Ok. It's my turn already. You know what saves the day, DBS/POSB? Your counter staff is polite and apologetic. And I in turn, praise her for her good service and tell her I feel sorry that she has to work overtime during this trying period.
"Circle Line sighting: a middle-aged auntie spent almost a minute wiping a just-vacated seat with a tissue before sitting down… #commute"
That made me wonder: "Do aunties still whack bus or MRT seats? Or are the new seats too hard to perform this ritual?"
Hey, it's Monday and everyone needs a distraction from work. So I decided to ask my Twitter followers what they thought were the reasons aunties beat bus seats with the hashtag #reasonsauntiesbeatbusseats:
@mrbrown: #reasonsauntiesbeatbusseats To make the bus seat cooler.
@humswhilepeeing: #reasonsauntiesbeatbusseats Because they've been naughty, oh so naughty.
@mrbrown: #reasonsauntiesbeatbusseats Don't want to be intimate with previous passenger's body heat.
@mrbrown: #reasonsauntiesbeatbusseats To whack the germs away.
@ShunfuMart: #reasonsauntiesbeatbusseats Trying to locate the 20 cent coin that dropped out from her ear.
@JustStephy: #reasonsauntiesbeatbusseats Because it makes the aunties feel shiok.
@mrbrown: #reasonsauntiesbeatbusseats Angry at have to give maid weekly day off or pay extra.
@kennethkongk: #reasonsauntiesbeatbusseats To make sure got no staple bullets.
@mrbrown: #reasonsauntiesbeatbusseats Don't want to accidentally become pregnant with a stranger's baby.