Today's loud and thundery storm reminded me of the children's church that the wife and I saw on vacation last year. The awesome building belongs to His Place Community Church in Burlington, Washington.
If I had an ark in Singapore, there wouldn't be space for pairs of animals, because it would be an HDB ark.
Quote of the Day: "My biggest fear is that when I die my wife will sell my bicycles for what I told her they cost."
For the record, this vintage mixte didn't cost a bomb but it is priceless in its own way because it was the last bicycle Uncle Teck made for me before Song Seng Chan bicycle shop closed after more than 80 years operating in Katong.
As I watched the live stream of the Apple Event on my iPad 2, and Apple when revealed the iPad Air, my iPad 2 felt uglier, heavier and bulkier all of a sudden.
From tomorrow onwards, I shall lose weight and become more powerful, and call myself "mrbrown Air".
If I manage to shave off even more inches, I shall just be known as "brown Air".
I only watched the live video stream because I was waiting for the iPad mini with Retina display announcement. But when they showed the thinner iPad Air, I suddenly wondered whether that was a better choice instead.
What Tim Cook didn't mention during the event was that while the iPad mini with Retina display now has the same A7 internals and Retina screen as the new iPhone 5s and iPad Air, it is actually slightly thicker and heavier than the old iPad mini.
iPad mini Retina: 7.5 mm, vs iPad mini non-Retina: 7.2 mm
iPad mini Retina: 331 grams, vs iPad mini non-Retina: 308 grams
The iPad Air is the one that lost the most weight and thickness. 469 grams and 7.5 mm thick only! My current iPad 2 is a full 601 grams and 8.8mm thick, a behemoth compared to the new iPad Air.
If you think about it, the gap in weight between an iPad Air and an iPad mini Retina is a mere 138 grams now, and with the thinner width, the iPad Air is something serious to consider even if you thought the iPad mini is a better fit for small bags. The iPad Air is even the same thickness (or thinness, if you wish) as the iPad mini Retina.
Free OS X Mavericks, new Haswell-based MacBook Pros with Retina display, the black Mac Pro, the iPad Air, and the iPad mini with Retina display; I think today's Apple Event can be summed up as "Shut Up And Take My Money".
I predict many will feel their wallets becoming Wallet Air this coming holiday.
"Yesterday I went to buy joss sticks and joss paper to pray for my ancestors. The towkay asked me if I want to buy paper iPhone to burn for my ancestors. I said they know how to use or not? He said Steve Jobs already there, can teach them to use. I said ok loh.
He asked want to buy casing? I also said ok.
Next he asked me if I wanted Bluetooth? I said might as well loh.
What about charger? I said need charger meh? He said of course lah, after battery no power how? So I bought the charger also.
Then I asked for his name card.
He said why you need my name card? I said I burn for my ancestors. For warranty claim, they will contact you direct."
Youtube user Galaxnite uploaded this video (please next time don't shoot vertical videos leh) of the infamous SMRT bus 190 that is always overcrowded and often impossible to board. I have taken 190 before and it is a sucky ride.
SMRT released a media statement after the video went viral and said they would "continue to monitor the situation closely as part of our commitment to deliver a positive customer experience."
Yeah right. The customer service is terrible. Have you tried complaining to them before? I have. In fact, I did it on the 3rd of Sept 2013, more than a month ago, about one of their drivers who didn't give way to my bicycle. Included a freaking DIAGRAM of the incident some more.
NO. REPLY. YET.
This is the kind of responsiveness you can expect from SMRT.
No wonder the response to the Bus 190 media statement was rage and anger.
Choa Chu Kang (CCK) and Bukit Panjang (BP) residents like the 190 bus because it takes them to town faster than even the MRT. HWZ forummer iceandfire wrote:
"I had to laugh while reading this… Because it's just so normal to me already. Like don't affect me. It's forever crowded.
I've lived in Choa Chu Kang for over 23 years & I take 190 every single day. Used to live in BP, everyday also 190 to and fro.
It is the fastest and convenient mode of transport to Orchard from CCK or BP. MRT can take up to 10 mins longer & sibeh mafan. Change here, there for Green Line, JE too crowded cannot breathe. Red line keep stop at Ang Mo Kio, Yishun. Now train forever faulty. One whole platform already filled, train can break down somemore. Come I clap for you SMRT.
190 is really the best way to go to town from CCK or BP.
The bus is a bit weird weird de. The frequency is about 5 mins but sometimes a bit off then long queue even at CCK interchange. There were a few times I just missed the bus then I ended up waiting 20 mins… at the interchange.
But the bus overcrowding is the absolute best.
Some old uncle and aunties will sit at the side. Put their plastic bags on the seats and even when crowded, they ignore then just act like nothing happened. Once I saw a kid, maybe about 3-5 years ask if she can sit there, the uncle just ignore her. The girl's mother end up just shake head then ask the girl to walk.
One time I saw this guy's leg all bandaged up. Not one person in the bus even let him sit down.
Then there are times people don't know how to move in. Uncle always end up shouting. That's why you can go in from exit. You tap in front then go in from exit.
Those handicap buses are the worst. Nobody wants to move in because it is horrible to stand at the back where you can barely balance.
Now they deploy LTA people or something to stand at the last bus stop of BP before highway already. But so time consuming. Uncle will shout la, they ask to move in la but end product people also don't move in.
Btw, if I go home from town… I will usually walk 2-3 bus stops away or just take the bus straight from Outram so it is from one end to the other. I sound so lazy but it's true. Why must I let my legs suffer more after suffering an entire day at work?
OH AND PEOPLE DO CHOOSE NOT TO TAKE THE BUS AND WOULD RATHER WAIT. WHY? BECAUSE NO SEATS.
Which is why I find it stupid when they decided to remove the seats so more people can board. The minute you see people standing, you will auto think bus is full and you won't board."
The HWZ forum discussion went from the bus 190 itself to life in Choa Chu Kang, god_of_smallthings wrote:
"Why would anyone want to retire in CCK?
1. It is crowded as hell.
2. There are no interesting amenities.
3. They have never heard of fresh air there.
4. It is far from the causeways.
5. They expect most of the children there to go to ITE.
6. Lot 1 has 4 cinema screens and 5 ushers.
7. The roads are just complete spiderly convoluted crap.
8. It is full of foreigners.
9. It is the furthest place in Singapore from town, even further than Changi Village."
CCK is where children's hopes and dreams go to die."
Wah, CCK so jialat life ah? And with a overcrowded 190 SMRT bus, maybe that's why people from there are so bitter sia. Haha!
If we had its own Agents of SHIELD show, it would need to be called Agents of SHEW (Strategic Homeland Enforcement Watchdog).
The "LD" very hard to pronoun lah. (Click on the poster to see big big.)
When I mentioned this on Twitter and Facebook, all kinds of suggestions came from the readers.
@funkshin suggested that the series have characters like Capt(NS) Dr America, the Incredible Hawk, (Orchard) Ion Man, and their leader, Ajen Nick McFlurry. Singapore's very own Aventures team, as it were. "AVENTURES FALL-IN!" would be the battle cry.
Actually, if you had an organization like this, you may not want to use the word Agents, because wait Singaporeans think it is Property Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or Insurance Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..
Supporting S.H.E.W. will be the S.A.F.C.T.S.F.P.C.U. (Singapore Armed Forces Counter-Terrorist Special Forces Plainclothes Commando Unit).
Needless to say, our team slogan will be One Punch One Kill. Very tokong one.
"ST headline: Woman allegedly files false police report to get a day off from work
A 22-year-old woman lodged a police report on Oct 9 stating that an unknown man riding a bicycle snatched her handbag at about 6.15am at Sembawang Drive. She claimed her bag contained an ez-link card and personal items.
The woman made the false report so that she could be absent from work as she had used up her leave entitlement, the police said in a media statement. Her boyfriend instigated her to make the report."
Wanjun and her husband, who have a five-year-old son with autism, want to thank the couple who paid for their dinner and left a note for them that said, "Special children are born to special people. Have a nice day."
This is the story they sent to me, a story that really made my day:
"My family and I had been at the receiving hand of an anonymous sweet act of kindness at dinner earlier today. And I would like to get the word out but unfortunately my husband and I do not have FB (it’s impossible but true).
My husband, my son, a friend and myself had dinner at PS Café at Palais Renaissance today. And this couple paid for our dinner anonymously. We only knew about it when the wait staff came to our table to inform us that the couple had paid for our dinner. They had also left us a note.
The note was written on the serviette of PS Café and it reads “Special children are born to special people. Have a nice day.”
My son is turning five next month and he is autistic. He has a fascination with fans; from ceiling fans to stand fans to wall fans. And PS Café has got ceiling fans and they placed a fan on the floor as well.
It so happened that the couple was sitting near to the fan on the floor and my son was hanging close around their table looking at the fan. My son did not disturb them but as probably already know, he lacks social cues so he did not know that he was standing too close to their table. The couple did look bemused at my son’s fascination and joy in seeing the fan. And I did mouth a sorry to the couple but I am not sure if they saw it.
When the waiter came to inform us of our paid dinner, I was quite shocked. In fact, I thought the waiter wanted to inform us that they would charge us for the water glass my son just broke.
My husband and friend ordered coffee after dinner just to make sure that the bill has truly been paid for. And we really did just pay for coffee only.
I read about a similar thing happening in the US recently and it went viral (this story, I think -mb). But I didn’t expect it to happen in “cold hard Singapore”. And least of all, I did not expect to be at the receiving end of such a random act of kindness.
Like I said, I do not have FB (or Instagram and Twitter) but I really would like to thank this couple. I can try to write to The Straits Times in their forum page but I am not sure if my letter will be selected for publication and of course, not sure if I can really convey my thanks to that couple.
So that’s why I am writing to you right now as you have a super wide reach. Most importantly, I believe you and your wife can understand our predicament; the terrible terrible heartache in our hearts that never goes away.
Most times I comfort/encourage/bluff myself that God sent my son to me because he knows that I am equipped to provide the many assistance that he will need to get on in life.
And when the going gets tough; this little act of kindness is like how the Chinese describes as “sending coal in the midst of a snowstorm”.
So I would really hope you can help me to put the word out in the online community. I will be able to thank the couple, hopefully raise a teeny weeny positive awareness about autism in Singapore and perhaps let Singaporeans know that we are not all that hard and cold a society.
I would also like to let the couple know that I will pay it forward when the opportunity arises."
She also added, at the end, "Lastly, just so you know since I am writing to you for the very first time. It may sound stalker-ish because we never identify ourselves but my husband and I will always be rooting for Faith."
Now excuse me, I have to wipe my eyes. The room is very dusty, I think.