Sunday, June 18, 2006

After all these years, men are still from Mars, and women are still from Venus

I couldn't agree more with Evan, a blogofriend of mine when she expressed surprise that my Junior has never been out in the rain. Evan wrote that "Singaporeans are so pampered". It's true - our kids today live very sheltered lives.

Alas, gone are our "kampung days", where bare-chested and bare-footed kids could be seen "catching spiders" in the deep forest; or having a splashing good time in the river just by their attap houses. Back then, kids needed very little supervision. Dads were usually the breadwinners; and the housewife mums try to make life a little more bearable by taking side-jobs such as dress-making or clothes-washing. Thankfully, many of those kids turned out none the worse.

Fastforward to this modern age. Many of our kids live in enclosed places like our HDB flats. Interaction amongst neighbors are scarce, if exists at all. Many parents are educated. Sometimes, we can't blame the parents for being over-protective towards their children. They only want what they think are the best for their kids. And they want to protect them from harm or bad influences. But in my opinion, I'm inclined to think that the mothers, more than the fathers, tend to over-protect the kids more. Trust me, take it from a Dad of two.

Take a cue from the instructions passed on to me by none other than my wife the Slim Lady on the day I brought the kids to East Coast Park:

Wife says: I'll pack a bottle of sun-block into the bag. Remember to apply the lotion on the kids while out cycling. I don't want them looking like lobsters.
Me thinks: (Aiyoh... just a bit of sun only what... u think we going for a swimming meet, is it?)

Wife says: And yes, get them to put on these jockey caps to protect their scalp against the sun, too.
Me thinks: (What, none for me? And I thought I'll need the hat more, considering my reclining hairline?)

Wife says: Pack one extra T-shirts in case they get a chill from the sweaty shirt.
Me thinks: (Woa, macam going camping hor? Wanna bring the "safari bed" or not?)

Wife says: And the raincoat, in case it rains.
Me thinks: (Then we just ditch the bicycles and head for the lagoon lor)

See? Women over-analyze, over-worry and over-protect. Men are usually cool and if anything, think that a little obstacles in life are fine to "toughen" the boys up.

My conclusion? It's very obvious that both genders are engineered differently. Men will forever be in Mars, and women in Venus. What more can I say?

Category: Musings

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The calm before the storm

This is a picture I took of the East Coast Park beach today. Notice the sandy beach and the waves. I never knew our beach here in Singapore could be as pretty as this. I guess it's something that I've always taken for granted.

One more week before school term starts, I thought I'd bring the kids cycling at East Coast Park today. The morning started off bright and sunny. We were determined to cycle all the way to the "remote" end of the cycling track. Somewhere towards the end, we stopped and it was there that I took a photo of the beach. On the grass patch, just by the sandy beach, a group of kids were being supervised by their teachers, painting the breath-taking scenery before them, no doubt captivated like I was.

Then it started getting windy. Should have noticed the dark clouds... looking at the picture, the sky did look kind of threatening. Then we heard thunder. The teachers realised the weather was about to turn foul and immediately instructed the kids to start packing. The kids started moaning, even as I told my kids we'd better cycled back. As we mounted our bicycles, the rain started to pour. Junior was almost on the verge of tears, for he's never been out in the rain. The nearest shelter were some kilometers away. "It's just a little rain, boy," I tried to reassure him, hurried him along, and making sure that I was always cycling behind him. When we finally reached the shelter, we were drenched.

While waiting for the rain to subside, Senior Junior told me that before he went to bed last night, he had prayed that God would give us sunny whether. He was happy that God had answered his prayer, but then wondered why God decided to abort our fun with the rain. I told him, well, maybe this is God's way of injecting some fun for us. Both boys told me that it was kinda fun cycling in the rain. So, yeah, I'd like to think that our God is a fun-loving God too. Junior had his fun. He told me he loves cycling in the rain. Bet he can't tell the difference between his tears and the raindrops now.

Category: Family

Friday, June 09, 2006

A Gamer

The fellas at SONY PLAYSTATION are geniuses. First, they came up with Playstation 1 (PS1). They developed games for the console, made you part with your hard-earned money, and then it suddenly hits you that you're addicted to some of the games. Next you know, they came up with Part 2 of the games. But woes to you, the follow-up games can only be played on a newer console, the PS2. Cursing under your breath, both at the SONY fellas and at your addiction, you went out and got yourself PS2.

Shrewd marketing strategy I must say. And very clever too. Should have studied game design when I was in school. But when you're addicted to something, what choice do you have?

I'm no gamer, lest I gave the impression that I'm one. I purchased PS1 many many moons ago for my kids. At least the ORIGINAL idea was for the kids. Of course, nobody dictated, least of all the Slim Lady, that Daddy can't play. And kids love Daddies the most when Daddies play games with them. You know what they say about "there's a kid in everyone of us"? It's true.

So, I got hold of some games, some for the kids and others for myself, and before I knew it, I was hooked, in particular on a game called " Silent Hill 1" (soon to be a motion picture).

When I learned that "Silent Hill 2" was available, I tried getting my hand on it. Then I read that it can only by played on PS2. I shall spare you the agony of having to read my account of the length I took to get my new console. But guess what? Having finally got the PS2 and part 2 of Silent Hill (I even have part 3 and part 4), I realise that I've yet to complete the game. Time is always a factor, and the fact that I can be very impatient when it comes to killing the monsters and beasts in the game, despite the many cheat codes available in the Internet. The game discs have been lying on the shelves gathering dust for the past 2 years. During this time, SONY has been developing PS3 which would be out in the market by year-end, so I read.

This post is not about gaming. It's really about how sometimes we human are capable of going all out of our way to get things our hearts desire (and I don't mean just tangible things), but only to realise that such things are sometimes a total waste of our time, energy and money. Having said that, the new PS3 console, using Blu-Ray technology (darn! must upgrade again to play Silent Hill 6)seems kinda cool. Hmmmm....

Category: Musings

Friday, June 02, 2006

The Thinker and the Motivator

One is a great motivator; and the other, a great thinker. This is how I like to describe the two fellas I'm currently working under with.

Yes, for the past three years or so, I've had the honour to work with two fantastic leaders - MDC and VT. The former is a great thinker whose leadership has led our team to great height. Cool, collected and extremely down-to-earth, he's a born leader who subscribes to the notion that diplomacy is the key to get things done in the office. I've never seen him crossed (and I hope I never will). I asked him once how he managed to always keep his cool. He told me that if he could get things done by being diplomatic and with a smile, why take the hard approach and make life miserable for everyone? I have high regards for him and am not ashamed to say that he's my role model.

VT, the latter, is a great motivator. Hardly seen without a smile, he's the one who gets things going in our team with his wits and excellent PR skill. Some of my colleagues say that VT is such a nice guy, so nice, in fact, that some people actually doubt his sincerity. You can say he's diplomatic to a fault. But I suppose that's they way VT is. And that's the reason why people find VT ever so endearing.

As leaders, MDC and VT make a dynamic duo. And what a pleasure it is to be working under these two great leaders!

But alas, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. VT will be deployed to another department comes this Monday where his PR skill and efficiency at work is much needed. Such is the unpredictability in life, especially in my office, where staff movement is extremely volatile. Incidentally, he'll be working in the same department as Victor. Other than this, nothing much has changed. We'll still see VT at work almost everyday. And he would still be a big part of BAGUS during lunchtime. But I, as most of my colleagues, do feel a little blue having lost a good leader to the other department.

How could we let VT go without a good send off? We, almost 31 of us colleagues bought him dinner at Capers at Regent Singapore today. It's our way of saying thanks to him for his years of guidance and stewardship in the team. VT gave a farewell speech, but I wasn't listening, feeling a tinge of sadness in my heart.

VT said he'd be seconded for at least two years. Or did he? Be back two years time, you hear VT??!! Our door is always open to welcome you back.

Category: Office