Monday, November 28, 2005

Sitex, "Lies" and Gizmos

Sitex, the computer show that ended its round on Sunday has proven yet again that the service standard in Singapore leaves much to be desired.

I didn't set out to visit Sitex on Thursday. It so happened that I was on leave. I had planned to spend the day at home, "doing-nothing-but-lazing" around, you know, surfing the net, taking catnap, watching videos... But it was not to be.

Talk about good timing, my neighbor living directly below has to choose this period to renovate his house. The Triple D (Drilling, Din and Dust), was more than I could bear. I ought to get out of my house and get out fast or I'll go crazy! Sitex sounded like a good place to be, and it's just a stone's throw away from my house.

So, I was forced by circumstance to be at Sitex, and I wasn't even there for a specific purpose or to buy any thing in particular. Upon entering the hall, I was met by many sales promoters, many of them SYTs, prowling around the hall, pushing flyers and brochure right under my nose and trying hard to make me part with my money to buy things I do not need. Their enthusiasm was a refreshing change from what I often experienced at the shopping malls where the attitude of the sales staff is often one of indifference. Impressed, I thought to myself - Hmmm... there's hope yet for service standard in Singapore.

Unfortunately, I was soon to find out that the reverse is true. I had, in my haste to convince myself that the service standard in Singapore has indeed improved, mistaken the sales promoters' enthusiasm for good service. For one, I discovered, to my dismay, that many of them know nuts about the products they were promoting. For instance, I was looking at the latest SONY "Bean" MP3 player. The gal who served me had no idea how the gadget works. What's more, when I wanted to try out the player, no song was uploaded into the MP3 player to begin with! She was CLUELESS and she offered no apology.

Another sales promoter tried recommending me a cordless phone. She could not even tell me from where the phone was manufactured, for crying out loud! She scampered away, looking for her colleague and returned to tell me it's MIC (no prize for guessing the country!). I simply walked away in disgust.

As I've said, I'm not in need of any gadget or gizmo. Erm.. ok perhaps subconsciously, I was looking out for something - a "wearable" MP3 audio portable player, despite already in possession of two MP3 players, one being the ubiquitous and popular iPOD.

Frannxis, a blogger I met in Blogosphere and who had wrestled with the decision to purchase a cheaper rice cooker, would have called me a spendthrift. If that is so, then I put the blame squarely on my iPOD which has let me down one time too many. Since I bought it last Dec, I had had my iPOD serviced twice and it seems there's no sign of letting up. It's still acting quirky and I'm getting tired of having to send it for further service, despite still under warranty. I've said it before - iPOD sucks. It's over-priced and is all hype, mainly because it was entirely "MIC". And so, I began to toy with the idea of getting a new MP3 player, a smaller one perhaps, one that's wearable and comes with a clip that could be worn around. And most importantly, it must not be "MIC". Sitex had seemed like the right place to start looking!

It didn't take me long to look for the MP3 player that I wanted. And I found it at the Samsung booth. Introducing Samsung YP-F1, it comes with inter-changeable cover and I got 5 extra covers instead of the usual 2 as a result of having made the purchase at Sitex. And best of all, it's entirely "Made In Korea".

Ok, enough of the gizmo. Back to the service standard in Singapore. While making payment, the sales promoter handed me a "life-long" COURTS card that gives me 5% off on all purchases. It then dawned on my that the Samsung booth actually belonged to COURTS, the megastore that I've sworn off as a result of past poor service experience. Well, there's no way I could back out the transaction so I asked the sales promoter if there was a lucky draw for purchase made during Sitex. She gave me a couple of coupons from COURTS and added that only purchases made on IT products are eligible for Sitex Lucky Draw. I made a mistake by not checking if what she told me was true.

The next day, Victor who had also been to Sitex and was all excited like a school boy over the "free" HP computer he got from StarHub told me that there was no restriction on the type of products purchased and one is entitled to a lucky draw for every $50 spent! That means I have 6 chances of winning a plasma TV 'cause my MP3 player cost me $319. Though my luck has never been good in lucky draw, I remembered what Victor wrote about Murphy's Law in his latest entry - that the more you think something would not happen, the more it will. Who knows, I might get lucky this time round. So, I was compelled to make a 2nd trip to Sitex just for the lucky draw. Granted, I should have checked out the details myself, but I would rather the sale promoter at COURTS told me she did not know than to give me wrong information. NO INFORMATION is definitely better then WRONG INFORMATION.

Enough said. It's time for my evening jog, made more interesting by my new SAMSUNG YP-F1 MP3 player. I feel so motivated maybe I'll start jogging on a daily basis!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Half-day trip to JB

I'm not much fan of our neighbour up north, for reasons I would rather not disclose for fear of sounding politically incorrect.

But I surprised myself today for taking leave and going on a half-day shopping trip to JB. It was, believe it or not, my first trip in more than 10 years to JB and it's all thanks to MJM, a colleague of mine. You see, MJM is a regular in JB and swears by all things MIM (Made In Malaysia, not to be confused with MJM). Why, he even drives a MIM car, the Proton Waja, something I would not be caught dead driving. I tried getting Victor to tag along. But he refused, for reason I suspected is quite similar to mine.

MJM told me he needed to make an urgent trip to JB today to replenish the fresh milk, fruit juice and other groceries for his wife and 三千金 (his three daughters). It's a trip that he makes almost every week. Never mind the long jams at times (well, most of the times) on the way back to Singapore from the Causeway, MJM is mostly motivated by the cheap price of petrol in JB despite the 3/4 full-tank ruling by our Singapore government. I've always wondered how much one can really save and if it's worth the trouble of having to go through the traffic jam. Well, I don't have to wait long to find out the answer.

And so, at his insistence and promise that he would fetch me back to the office to collect my car (I refused vehemently to drive to JB), I gave in and found myself the front-seat passenger in the Proton Waja, heading to JB at 12 noon.

Everything was a breeze, despite the persistent drizzle. We reached the custom by 12.45pm and by 1pm, we were at a quaint coffee-shop near Plaza Pelangi, having laksa for lunch. The laksa, at RM3.50, was nothing to shout about, even though MJM has earlier raved and ranted about how fabulous it was and the generous amount of cockles that came with it.

Because of the drizzle, I was in no mood to roam about the streets. But the whole area around Plaza Pelangi has a very 60s-70s feel, like what it was in old Singapore with a variety of shops on what one would called 五脚街 or "5-foot path". In a span of 15 minutes, I spotted a bridle shop, car-servicing workshop, shops specializing in pewter and of course massage parlour. Too bad I didn't snap any photo of it, other than the laksa seller. Why, she's not even a SYT! What was I thinking?

Then, we were off to Giant, a shopping complex housing, of course, Giant the Supermarket, and many other retailers and restaurants. That was when MJM went into turbo mode, picking up fruit juice, vitagen and fresh milk off the shelves into the shopping cart. I too did some shopping and we were done by 3pm.

Well, shopping can really make you hungry. So we decided to take a bite at another coffer-shop a stone's throw away from Giant at the recommendation of MJM, no less. There is nothing extraordinary about the "mee-kiah" soup really. In fact I was disappointed to find that there was only ONE fishball in the soup, which was too salty for my liking. I discovered, to my chagrin, that MJM actually rates his food according to price. His philosophy seems to be - if it's cheap; then the food must be good! That's when I came to the conclusion that MJM can never make his mark as a food-critic.

So how much can we stretch our dollars doing our groceries shopping in JB? Quite a fair bit, I must admit. Considering my expenses in JB within the three hours I was there:

That's about $30 in Singapore currency. I'm convinced. Must ask MJM when's the next trip.... But then again maybe not. The trip back home was a torture. We didn't expect to be caught in a jam at 4.30pm, but we did, probably because of the school holidays. By the time I reached home, it was 6.30pm. Next time, I'll get MJM to do the groceries for me. Ha.

Monday, November 21, 2005

The true meaning of Christmas

While pondering over the meaning of Christmas, I stumbled upon this piece of writing. It has Santa describing quite eloquently the true meaning of Christmas ...

Just a week before Christmas I had a visitor. This is how it happened. I just finished the household chores for the night and was preparing to go to bed, when I heard a noise in the front of the house. I opened the door to the front room and to my surprise, Santa himself stepped out from behind the Christmas tree.

"What are you doing?" I started to ask. The words choked up in my throat and I saw he had tears in his eyes. His usual jolly manner was gone. Gone was the eager, boisterous soul we all know. He then answered me with a simple statement . . .

"TEACH THE CHILDREN!" I was puzzled. What did he mean? He anticipated my question and with one quick movement brought forth a miniature toy bag from behind the tree. As I stood bewildered, Santa said, "Teach the children!"

"Teach them the old meaning of Christmas. The meaning that now-a-days Christmas has forgotten." Santa then reached into his bag and pulled out a FIR TREE and placed it before the mantle. "Teach the children that the pure green color of the stately fir tree remains green all year round, depicting the everlasting hope of mankind, all the needles point heavenward, making it a symbol of man's thoughts turning toward heaven."

He again reached into his bag and pulled out a brilliant STAR. "Teach the children that the star was the heavenly sign of promises long ago. God promised a Savior for the world, and the star was the sign of fulfillment of His promise."

He then reached into his bag and pulled out a CANDLE. "Teach the children that the candle symbolizes that Christ is the light of the world, and when we see this great light we are reminded of He who displaces the darkness."

Once again he reached into his bag and removed a WREATH and placed it on the tree. "Teach the children that the wreath symbolizes the real nature of love. Real love never ceases. Love is one continuous round of affection."

He then pulled from his bag an ORNAMENT of himself. "Teach the children that I, Santa Clause, symbolize the generosity and good will we feel during the month of December."

He then brought out a HOLLY LEAF. "Teach the children that the holly plant represents immortality. It represents the crown of thorns worn by our Savior. The red holly berries represent the blood shed by Him.

Next he pulled from his bag a GIFT and said, "Teach the children that God so loved the world that he gave his begotten son." Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.

Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a CANDY CANE and hung it on the tree. "Teach the children that the candy cane represents the shepherds' crook. The crook on the staff helps to bring back strayed sheep to the flock. The candy cane is the symbol that we are our brother's keeper."

He reached in again and pulled out an ANGEL. "Teach the children that it was the angels that heralded in the glorious news of the Savior's birth. The angels sang Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace and good will toward men."

Suddenly I heard a soft twinkling sound, and from his bag he pulled out a BELL. "Teach the children that as the lost sheep are found by the sound of the bell, it should ring mankind to the fold. The bell symbolizes guidance and return.

Santa looked back and was pleased. He looked back at me and I saw that the twinkle was back in his eyes. He said, "Remember, teach the children the true meaning of Christmas and do not put me in the center, for I am but a humble servant of the One that is, and I bow down to worship him, our LORD, our GOD."

Sunday, November 20, 2005

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

It's that time of the year again... CHRISTMAS! Time to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Time to be merry and jolly. And in keeping with the spirit of Christmas, I've decided to revamp (yet again) my blog a to give it a "Christmas" feel.

I like Christmas better when I was a kid. But the ugly face of commercialism has given Christmas a bad name. It's really sad but I'm afraid the meaning of Christmas is lost on our kids these days. They are so enthralled by the light-up, the Christmas trees and of course the presents to care about the real meaning of Christmas. Likewise my kids - they LOVE Christmas, more so then the Lunar New Year. Still, the message behind Christmas for me is that of HOPE - the hope that our good Lord brings... that he loves us so much that he sent his only son to save us from sin...

I suppose Christmas means different things to different people. What's your definition of Christmas and what does it mean to you?

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Wife Vs. Mistress

No don't get me wrong. I do not, I emphasis, DO NOT have a mistress. Not that I lack the opportunities... Just that I think it's quite an expensive "hobby". Even if I have the money to blow, I also don't think it's morally right to keep a mistress. Sorry, this is not a post on moral issues. Nor is a post to chastise any man who has a mistress, nor any woman who has a toyboy... When a marriage reaches a stage when either the man or the woman has to seek solace in the comfort of another person, there's always different stories to tell on both sides of the coin. No, I'm not gonna play the moral judge. Let him who has not sinned cast the first stone ...

Anyway, let's lighten up .... what I'm gonna blog today is something quite funny and light-hearted. Sometime ago, I attended a talk on "Thinking On Your Feet" of which I posted an entry. The talk was basically a training session organised by my company to help employees to acquire the ability to make snappy decision on the spot, as the title suggests. We were taught various methods to collect information, organise the information and then having to present the information to the class. One of the methods is known as "Opposites". We were asked to spell out all the opposites of two variables; for instance, Life vs death; Light vs Darkness, Man vs Woman, etc..

I was particularly amused, likewise the trainer, by a group that chose to write about Wife vs Mistress. Predictable mortals like those in my groups had choosen to scrawl about "Man vs Woman" and how "Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus". How boring and predictable, right? I must take my hat off to that group for their wit and ingenuity. What they wrote was really quite hilarious, and in some ways, true!

The Slim Lady must NEVER EVAR read this .....

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Kids are smart; we must be smarter!

I discovered, to my dismay, that my 8-year-old Junior has the making of a con-artist. He really takes me for fool. (Ya, go on Victor, go take a swipe at my nick foollie...).

Junior called me today while I was in my office. The conversation went something like this.

Junior: Hello, Papa. Tomorrow "Show & Tell leh".
Me : What show and tell? (imagination running wild and horrible images of a pervert teacher lurking in his school begin flashing in my mind...)
Junior: Teacher said one. "Show & Tell".
Me : What?
Junior: "Show & Tell". Must bring a toy and talk about your toy.
Me : Oh (feeling relieved)
Junior: But teacher said cannot bring old toy. Must bring new one."
Me : Oh? Meaning papa or mummy must bring you go buy new toy this evening, is it?"
Junior: Ya.
Me : Are you sure? How would the teacher know if your toy is old? Unless you tell her?"
Junior: Dunno lah, but she said must bring new one (voice getting soft).
Me : You lying right? Huh?
Junior: No lah (voice barely rose above a whisper now).
Me : Still want to lie?!!
Junior: Ok bye bye (almost inaudible) -click-

Hng! 敢玩你老豆!Lucky for me... he smart; but I NOT STUPID, ok? The Slim Lady always says: The kids are smart, but we parents MUST be smarter than they are.

This is the 2nd time in as many weeks Junior has told a lie. While taking him home from school one day, he told me his teacher has asked the kids to buy presents for the mummies and daddies for Christmas, and that the presents could only be bought from the school bookshop. I saw through his lie immediately. No teacher worth his salt would ask the kids to do that, knowing full well that the kids are not financially independent to have acquired the purchasing power of their own.

See, Junior doesn't even know how to tell a good lie. So, I take that back - Junior DO NOT have the making of a con-artist; but I reckon with constant practice, the way he's doing now, he soon will. And that is want I find most troubling.

Regrettably, I do take responsibility for the behavior of Junior. Sometimes, much as I hate to admit it, we parent's just aren't the best of role models to our kids, for the fact that we lie openly in front of them. For instance, I would allow the boys an hour or two playing games with the SONY PS2, sometimes over-ridding the mummy's order, and when mummy queried if they have played the PS2 when she returned from work, they lied and say no. So, perhaps they thought it's ok to lie because I "conspired" with them.

But when are kids ever gonna learn the old parental saying: Do as I say; not as I do??

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Secret of Qiqong

Each morning, at the crack of dawn, they would gather at the basketball court down my block. Taking their positions, the "uncles and aunties" would go through their slow and fluid motions, their arms and legs moving in unison to the oriental music coming from a portable CD-player by the corner of the court. A piece of modern technology in the heart of a "centuries-old" art known as Qigong. I'm sure there're benefits in Qigong. But was I surprised to read that there are more to Qigong then meets the eye. Maybe the uncles and aunties know something that we don't?

A colleague in the office recently sent me an article on "The Secret of Qiqong". That article, if it were to be believed, is quite telling. Written by a non-Chinese 师父, who professed to be a medical specialist in holistic medicine and has been teaching Qigong for more then 10 years, the article says that one of the best secrets of Qigong is that it can improve our sexual health. Laugh if you want, it goes on to recommend some exercises with names sure to raise an eyebrow or two:

1. Sexual/pelvic rock
2. Sexual squat

Amused? Wait, it gets better....

3. Dragon Breathing Fire. This one must surely take the cake. The instructions say, and I quote: "Do chest-breathing and fill your chest fully. Finally, the male dragon thrusts his pelvis forwards as he forcefully breaths out the "fire" through his mouth (with a "huh!") and pulls his arms back down in a forceful motions. He feels sexually powerful, macho and dominant. Repeat this six to 50 times."

There are more....

4. Penile and vaginal weight exercise. For the men, weights are attached to jade rings (do they sell them in Chinatown? hee), which are worn on the penis to ascertain the strength of the erections. For the women, heavy metal balls are used to gauge the strength of the vaginal muscles. These are inserted into the vagina and the women had to prevent the weights from falling out by squeezing their vaginal muscles tight.

Ok, I shall spare you the agony (and embarrassment) of having to read the other sets of exercises, the names of which get more preposterous and ludicrous then the predecessors.

I'm sure proponents of Qigong swear by their practices. But admittedly, I have a little problem taking that article at face-value... Besides, my sexual health is fine and dandy, thank you very much.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

A sentiment journey

In one of many exchanges with Victor, I told him that MAN are sentimental fools. We are always reminiscing about the good old days, holding on to our past and memories and attaching much TLC (Tender Loving Care) to our prized possessions - the first model plane we assembled, our first walkman, the trophies we got from the track and field championship, and perhaps the love letters from our girlfriends (who might or might not have become the Significant Other). In one hilarious scene from "Meet the Fockers", the mum of the male-lead proudly showed off the foreskin of her dear son like a family heirloom to her prospective in-law-to-be on their first meeting. Of course that was reel-life; but you got my drift...

One of my most treasured possessions is a watch that my Dad bought me when I was just a kid. It was a reward for having passed my PSLE. For a family that used to live from hands to mouths, Dad, a former forklift driver, must have loved me a lot to buy me a watch with his meager salary.

It was a PAGOL watch with a luminous brown face. What I like most about the watch is that it's fully automatic. As I grew into adulthood and started working, I started pampering myself with other watches that caught my fancy. No, not those time-pieces that only the rich and high-society folks could afford (What? $1m for that timepiece? Are you nuts?). But there was a time when I was head over heels with SWATCH watches. I own about 10 of them, some of which were purchased while on holiday in Australia. The sad part about having these battery-operated watches is that I never got round to changing the batteries once the watches stop "ticking". That makes my PAGOL watch the more endearing, 'cause I never have the need to worry about changing batteries since it's fully automatic.

Though it looks kinda outdated (I much prefer to use the term "retro-looking"), my timeless piece of treasure is still pretty much alive and kicking. Like a faithful spouse, it has stayed with me for the past 29 years, never once let me down and is always truthful when it comes to time.

Yes, men can be such sentimental fools, but how could any man not be, unless he's totally devoid of feeling? Ever wonder why we enjoy listening to old songs from Class 95 and Gold 90? A familiar old song always bring back sweet (and sometimes not so sweet) memories. Like a time machine, it transports us back to our yesteryears - our childhood, courtship, when we were just "a bacholer boy", our first time, first love, NS stint, the wedding, honeymoon, fatherhood and the list goes on... An old song has the power of evocation. Till today, when I hear the song "Stand By Me", it evokes memories of my courtship days with the Slim Lady. That was also the title of our first movie date.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

The true meanning of blogging

I have a most interesting chat with Victor yesterday, mostly via sms (and part MSN). Victor's has been pretty prolific in his blog entry of late; no doubt encouraged and buoyed up by comments to his blog he had received from other bloggers (beside me). From what Victor said was a "challenge" to prove that an old dog can indeed do a blog, and a pretty good one at that, Victor has turned blogging into a passion (of sort), touching from poor services in Singapore, to his pessimism in life, his childhood and his first car and camera.

Currently, Victor is waxing lyrical about the "vanishing scenes" of Singapore. You know, the historical buildings such as the National Theatre and the National Library that were torn down to give way for the modernization of Singapore.

Well, his pet topic has attracted comments from fellow-bloggers alike who share Victor's passions and sentiments on all things old and over the hill - old buildings (not necessarily those that have been torn down), antiques camera and his first car, and yes, memories of yesteryears. Man can be such sentimental "fools", don't you agree? And I don't mean this in an insulting sort of way. I myself am guilty of being a sentimentalist if you were to read my blog on Club Street, the place where I grew up. Old things always hold dear to us, like how old songs and movies evoke memories of friendship, childhood and yes, even romance.

But Victor missed the point when he told me having a central theme on your blog is essential if you want others to read and comment on your blog. I don't dispute that. But blogging to me is not about attracting comments. Blogging to me is a form of self-expression; just like when a pianist plays his piano. I blog whenever the moods call for it, whether I'm happy, down or out. I blog anything I want, anything I like and dislike, as long as I don't hurt anybody willfully. It's a therapeutic outlet for me to express the joy, disappointment and meaning of life. Surely, if Victor has read bloggers like Mr Brown, Caleb Cowboy and Rockson, he would have also noticed that they have no theme whatsoever on their blogs. They blog just about anything under the sun (Rockson also blogs about everything under the blanket cover .. hehehe). And their blogs have attracted comments like bees to nectar.

So Victor, way to go man on your blog! But I'll stick to my style, comments or no comments, thank you very much. Well, I guess it's different strokes for different folks when it comes to certain things...

A revamped blog

I decided to give my blog a new look today. The sky-blue background was fresh and cheery when it started; but it was beginning to look kinda boring and worn-out, though not spider-web covered like what Vic's blog used to be...LOL.

The original sky-blue background was chosen not without a reason. The sky, like the ocean, depicts openness, freedom and happiness. This translated into the openness and freedom in the way I blog - anything I want, when I want and how I want it (more of this later in my next entry). Of course recent events have shown that, like the print media, you could be held liable for your writings that may have the potential of causing social "upheavals" in our society. It calls to mind the "seditious" charges against some young punks whose blogs on multi-racial Singapore got them into hot soup with the law-enforcers recently. It goes without saying that we have to take responsibilities in what we write. And in this age of political-correctness, there're certain issues or OB markers that we should be mindful of and never ever think of crossing the line.

Anyway, back to my revamped blog. The new background looks kinda like a galaxy out in space. The main clipart at the top with a scene of what looks like autumn is something I ripped of the net. Pretty as a picture, isn't it? I know the background looks kinda moody, brooding and dark; but you can be assured that it's not an indication of how I'm feeling with my life right now. The galaxy, like the sky and the ocean, also depicts openness and freedom. Now, if only I can get my hand on an animated GIF of autumn leaves falling, ever so gently and gracefully, all over the monitor, even as I surf.....

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

It was not my fault that I missed a turn. The road-directory was.

It's one thing to get lost on your way to nowhere land, knowing you'll eventually reach the destination, no matter how long it takes, be it half an hour, one hour or one and a half hour, and quite another to have a non-license-holder front-seat passenger sitting beside you, lecturing you on why you didn't check with the experts on the best route to take, sulking throughout the journey and threatening to call off the outing altogether and wanting to go home. Why can't the women understand that when it comes to map-reading, it's a matter of pride to the guys? You can say it's an "ego" thing. We men are supposed to be better at map-reading! (even though Victor has taunted that I'm an exception!)

I was on my way to The Chevron, a chalet at Jurong at the invitation of the Slim Lady's sister. It's also a celebration of sort for Senior Junior's birthday, which is tomorrow. Despite checking the route on the directory, I got lost after a right-turn from PIE into Toh Tuck Road. My sis-in-law had told me to look out for Toh Guan Road but as I drove on, I ended up at Bukit Batok. The Slim Lady started nagging me for not having the sense to check out the route earlier with her sister. Instead of helping me to look out for the chalet, she sat there, pulling a long face and yakking away. Ok, so I tend to get lost travelling in unfamiliar roads(which driver has not?). But it got worse each time the Slim Lady was at the front seat. In the end, when we finally arrived at the chalet, I was in no mood whatsoever to even relax!

That said, it's true that I'm quite muddle-headed with it comes to direction (ok, I swallowed my pride). But I have a valid reason for being so. Other than using the car to travel to work, home, my mum's and in-law's house, I don't use my car much cause we don't go out very often, not even on weekends. And those damn road directories! They just don't seem to portray the roads accurately! I suppose the only way to get myself familiar with Singapore's road is to change my job to become a taxi driver! Maybe that's a little drastic. Either that, I should spend my weekends travelling to all corners of Singapore, just to get myself familiar with the roads (never mind the petrol!) Better still, convince the Slim Lady to take up driving! Then I can just sit back, relax and yak at her to give her a taste of her medicine! Aarrgghh!!