Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Going to School

"When do you think we should send Yiyi to pre-school?, Mami asked me.

"I think still early lar" I objected.

"No lar, they accept kids of 2 years old already."

"2 years old? Too young to go to school leh"

"The earlier the better. Later she couldn't catch up ler"

"I don't know lar, 2 years old is a bit young lar."

Actually I sympathised with the kids nowadays. They start going to school/pre-school/kindergarten at a very young age. Most take on more than 2 classes to further their knowledge. Morning: mandarin class, afternoon: piano. Morning: taekwando, night: public speaking. Morning: computer programing, evening: ballet.

This is a dilemma every parents will be facing. I am actually against sending Yiyi to pre-school at a young age. I mean, she's only 2 years old (by year). Let her have some fun first at home, let her 'manja' Papi and Mami first. And let Papi and Mami 'manja' her a bit.

But what Mami told me is also true. "Actually going to pre-school, doesn't mean she's going to school, and comes back with tonnes of homework.", she explained to me. "She goes there, just to have fun also. Meeting new friends, playing, and they teach her how to sing, to read, to write, to speak."

Hmm...that doesn't sound too bad.

"Also, Yiyi's currently in the learning stage, age between 2 to 6 years old, where her learning capability is max. She can go there and learn new skills, rather than playing at home."

Mami's got a point there. I began to soften a bit. Then there was a story of my colleague. GM.

GM used to have the same thought as mine. "Why do we need to send our kid to this class and that class. During our time, we don't have all these, and still we turned out OK."

"The kid will be able to adapt when the time comes, and he will be able to catch up.", he argued, before his kid went to primary school.

But everything changes after his kid got into primary school. Apparently, the school nowadays no longer teaches the basic. You know, ABC and 123. A for Apple, B for Buaya.. They dive straight into the real thing, big words, forming sentences, calculations etc. So his kid was having trouble keeping up. While other pre-school-going kids are doing big numbers multiplication and exponentiation, his kid is still struggling with addition. Now, he's scratching his head trying to send his kid to additional classes after school.

So, am I sending Yiyi to a pre-school when she's two years old? No. I still think 2 years old is too young an age. Maybe when she's bigger. But at the same time, I do acknowledged that it's essential to equip herself at an early age. The standard is getting higher and higher. I guess I have to consider what's best for Yiyi and to find a balance. Isn't that what parenting is all about. :)

What say you?

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


Some people are just plain stubborn.

Mami's boss : So where did you guys go?

Papi : Oh, we went to submit our income tax forms.

Mami's boss : I haven't fill up my form leh.

Mami : The deadline is end of the month, you know? You have to pay penalties after the deadline.

Mami's boss : Aiya! Don't worry lar, they will sure extend wan!

Mami : eh, better fill up quickly lar, a few more days to go mah, still got time. Some more you have to pay the tax by this month also.

Mami's boss : Aiya! No lar, I don't worry wan, sure they will extend the deadline.

Let's see whether this time the IRB stands firm on their deadline.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Sleeping Piggies

The lady, whose wallet we found two weeks ago, got us a gift. sweet. :)

This is what she gave to us...
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Two figurines of sleeping piggy.

Mami : So cute...

Papi : Yeah.

Mami : You think she bought this because we looked like pigs ah?

Papi : ha ha ha!! No lar. Just a token of appreciation lar.

Mami : Just kidding only he he he.

Papi : So, which one is you lar?

Mami : The pink one lar, pink is for girl-girl mah.

Papi : oic..he he he *evil*

Mami : So the blue one must be you lar?

Papi : lar. I am neither. I am not a pig mah...kih kih kih..

Mami : Aik!! You ah!! *hit Papi*

Papi 1, Mami 0

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That's Mami he he he...

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That's not Papi...he he he

Friday, April 22, 2005

Unscrupulous Vendors

Yesterday, we went shopping for a PS2 and a GBA SP. Not for us, but for my SIL. Mami's sister.

Mami's nephew has been pestering my SIL for a GBA and PS2, for days, until she could not take it anymore. So she called us for advice and help. So yesterday, being a public holiday, we went to a shopping centre in the neighbourhood.

There must be at least 10 shops selling game consoles in this shopping centre. Nothing so special about this particular shopping centre, except I only come here for its cinema and DVDs.

We went to almost every shops. Comparing prices and services, checking out the best deal. What we thought would only take a couple of hours, turned out taking us almost the entire day! The problem was the price range (among different shops) was a huge gap. We were quoted between RM600 to RM800 for a PS2. To make things complicated, there are non-original and original parts.

Easy lar, you say. Just take the lowest quote, right? Wrong! This is where you have to be extra careful. What we found out is, these 'special deal' turned out to be not so true after all. The mod machine can only play certain reqion DVDs (there are a total of 6 regions). The controllers are non-original. There is also a possibility that the machine could be a recon unit from Japan. Worst still, there could be second-hand parts in the machine. But what I think is the most ridiculous, is that they sell the items in the package one by one. The power adapter and AV cable are sold separately. WTF? Is like buying a car without the tyres!

There was this shop who told us there are two grades to the original controllers. Class A and Class B. The reason they can sell so cheap is because their controller is the Class B 'original'. Original, my ass! Total nonsense! There is no such thing as two classes of original. There are only two catgories: original and non-original. Period. We left this shop immediately without turning back.

Finally we bought both the GBA SP and PS2 from one of the shop that we think is the most honest. It was also this shop that warned us about those 'cheap' deals with hidden cost by these unscrupulous vendors trying to make a quick buck. We had some good demo from them on how to tell the fake from the originals. Although, we might be paying a little bit more, because we insisted on original parts only, but most importantly, we left the shop without feeling cheated. :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Cloths or Fish

It was back in college days, a group of us went out for dinner. So we, the boys, invited a group of girls, to join us for dinner and 'jalan-jalan' after that. Mami was there too. As you might have known, back then they used to tease me with Mami.

When we were about to move out, everyone refused to get into my car. And they forced Mami to follow my car. So both of us got into my car, alone. As a gentleman that I am *ahem*, I tried to strike up a conversation, in Mandarin. FYI, I was a lousy Mandarin speaker. Still am.

Papi : He he he ... so where are we going?

Mami : Err... *blush* don't know leh, follow them lor....he hehe


Papi : So.....where is your hometown?

Mami : I am from Melaka.

Papi : Oh, which part? (As if I know Malacca very well)

Mami : Masjid Tanah.

Papi : Your parents are there?

Mami : Yeah. (she must be thinking, "what a stupid question?")

Papi : What do they do for a living? (Interogate kah??)

Mami : They sell 'yu'.

What I heard was 'yi', as in cloths or shirts. So I said ...

Papi : Wah, then you must have a lot of cloths to wear!

Mami : err...yeah!

Papi : Where is their shop? In a shopping complex?

Mami : No. In pasar lar! (Pasar = wet market).

Papi : Hmmm...ok.

Well, I have seen people selling cloths in wet market. No problem, what.

Fast forward a few years, when we were already going steady, I asked her again.

Papi : You know, remember last time I asked you about what your family do for a living?

Mami : Yeah?

Papi : I am puzzled. Your parents actually sell fish (fishmonger), but you tell me they are selling cloths?

Mami : I said selling 'yu' what? selling fish lar. ('fish' and 'cloth' have almost the same sound in Mandarin: 'yu' and 'yi')

Papi : I thought I heard 'cloths'. That's why I then said that you must have a lot of cloths to wear. Ha haha... But you answered Yes. ha haha...

Mami : Actually, at that time, I have no idea what you are talking about. I thought you are crazy or something. But I said Yes just to entertain you lar....he he he...

Papi : I think you are just mesmerised with my handsome-ness lar. That's why u said yes. ha ha ha ...

This story never fail to crack us up. :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Making Money With Your Digital Photos

I always wonder whether I can sell those photos that are occupying large amount of spaces on my hard drive. You know, make some money, rather than let it 'sitting there, collecting dust'.

Now I can. :)

A forumer of mentioned ShutterStock in one of the thread. I went to check it out and signed up immediately.

Registration is free. You upload your photos to ShutterStock, and people who are interested in your photos will download it with a fee. They normally use it for commercial purposes like brochures, ads, pamphlets etc. ShutterStock pays you US$ 0.20 per unique photo download. Minimum payout US$75.00. They can either send you a cheque or through PayPal. The great thing is the photos' copyright still belongs to you. ShutterStock is merely selling it.

Check it out, click here. That will include me as your referer. ;)

Anyone has any experience with these stock photographies before? Maybe you can share your experience here. :)

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Monday, April 18, 2005


You might have noticed that I have taken the Blogger commenting system out.

You might have also read that I don't really like Blogger commenting system. But because I was losing some of the comments in Haloscan, I put it in to try it out some time in February 2005. It was also roughly the same time Blogger introduced a new commenting system, similar to Haloscan.

But after a couple of months testing it out, I still don't like Blogger Commenting system. It's slow, and, IMHO, a bit troublesome to manage.

Therefore, I am removing it, and leaving only Haloscan. I also decided to 'donate' to Haloscan, so no more space limits for me. :)

For previous comments on Blogger, I will try to 'migrate' it to Haloscan.

Shopping for Glasses

"Do you have the Harry Potter type?", Mami asked the optician.

"Err....Harry Potter ah?", the optician replied, his eyes searching the display.

"Harry Potter nice meh?", I asked Mami, trying to hide my embarrassment.

Mami thinks I'll look nice if I wear a rounded glasses, ala Harry Potter. But normally it's either too small or it looked too old for me.

"How about this?" the optician gave me a Calvin Klein.

"Err... too small."

"And this?"

"Too big."


"Aiya, look like Ah-Pek.", I complained. I am a picky customer.

I started to have problems with my eye sight (short-sighted) when I was in Form 5. I still remember I couldn't see a damn thing on the blackboard when I was sitting for my lab for SPM. I told my parents about it and finally they got me a pair when I was in Form 6. Mami still laughs when I show her my first gold-colored glasses. "So old, like AhPek like that" she joked.

At first, of course, I didn't get used to it. It felt 'foreign'. I would took it off every chance I got. But over the years, it became a necessity. Even if I am not wearing it, I still feel it's there.

I wear glass lenses. The reason is I am not really good at looking after my stuff. It's heavier, but most importantly, it's scratch-proof (well, almost). But because it's heavy, I am thinking of wearing contact lens. Not to mention, it will increase my 'handsome-ness' a few notch.

"This one is for 1 day, this one 30 days, this one 60 days.....", the optician explained the various types of contact lenses to me.

"So which one do you prefer? We can show you how to wear it.", the optician asked.

"Err......*gulp*", Beads of sweat trickled down the side of my face.

"Aiya, no need to ask lar, you see, he scared already. We will try it some other time.", Mami sensing my fear.

"he he he....", I, faked a smile, trying to be cool. I chickened out at the idea of putting a foreign object INTO my eyeballs.

I ended up choosing a squarish frame, the only one which can fit nicely and comfortably to my face. Not far from us, a boy was tugging at his mom's shirt.

"Mommy....mommy....", the boy 'manja' his mommy.

"OK lar, OK lar......err... mister you have the Harry Potter type ah?

Friday, April 15, 2005

Little Helper

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These sets of photos was taken before Chinese New Year, about 2 months ago. We were cleaning the house for CNY, and Yiyi 'kaypo-kaypo' want to help us out. So we let her 'play' with the sweeper. But it's a great way of having fun with your kid, and at the same time, involved her in our housechores. :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Thorny Beauty

Have you ever seen the flower of a cactus before?

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This is the smallest cactus we have. One stalk.

OK, how about two stalks of cactus flower on a single cactus plant?

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How about 6?

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The most we had were 8 on a single plant. These flowers bloom only in the early morning, and only for a few hours. My dad snapped these photos before he went to work.

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We bought it many years ago. That time, cactus planting was a craze, I think back in the end of 80s. I bought one, my brother bought one and my parents bought one. Mine survive and is still around, and those in the photos are the 'great grand child'. Nice, eh?

Monday, April 11, 2005

Lost & Found

I was supposed to post this last Friday but I couldn't login to Blogger. Problem with Streamyx. Anyway...

Last Thursday, as I was parking my car at my office multistorey carpark, I saw something on the floor.

Papi : Eh? Mami, look at that. Is that a wallet?

Mami : No lar. Looks like rubbish to me.

Papi : No lar, look carefully, I think someone dropped his wallet.

We got down from our car, walked towards the 'thing' on the floor, and picked it up.

Mami : Eh? Yalar, it's a wallet ah. But I think just some business cards only lar.

Papi : No lar, see properly. Got contact number or not?

Mami : No lar *search search* Eh? Got credit cards, IC, driving license, money...

Papi : OK, let's go to the office first, then we try to see whether we can contact the owner or not.

So we went back to office and Mami started looking for any contact info in the wallet.

Mami : No contact number lar. Got a few receipts, a clinic registration card, some credit cards. And lots of boyfriend's photo.

Papi : He he he ...see see....wah handsome leh... (LOL!! Sorry ah! Kaypo a bit)

Mami : So how?

Papi : Let's call the clinic, if cannot, we call the bank, you got the credit card right?

Mami : Yup!

So I called the clinic and explained the situation to the lady there. She asked me to hold and came back with nothing. All they have is an address in Cheras. (Imagine I am someone with ill-intention. I could get her address easily.)

So next, I called the bank (a foreign bank). Again, I explained the situation to the girl and asked her to trace the holder of the credit card. Then I was put on hold, while she called the owner. A few moment later, the girl came back on telling me the owner is on the line with her, and she would need my contact number, so that the owner can call me directly. I gave her my number, and a few seconds later, the owner called me. :) Here the bank did the right thing. The operator didn't let out any information about their customer.

Apparently the owner is working in the same area, just the next block. On the phone, she was clearly stunned, and didn't know what to do. Since it was nearby, I offered to send the wallet to her. We arranged to meet somewhere near her office.

Mami : Ha ha ha..... We kena deliver the wallet ah?

Papi : He he he...No problem lar. Help people must help until the end mah. Eh, but if she offer us money how ah?

Mami : No lar. She won't.

Papi : If RM50, I take lar.... (I was teasing Mami lar)

Mami : You ah...

In the end, we managed to pass the wallet back to the owner. She profusely thanked us for returning her wallet. But I think she was still a bit confused of what had happenned.

Mami : Ha ha ha .....she called you Mr. Ng. ha ha ha... ( BTW, I am not Ng)

Papi : He he ... never mind lar, we helped her saved her wallet, her money and most important of all, all the credit cards, IC and driving license.

Mami : And her boyfriend's photo.

Papi : he he he...

The next morning, she SMSed me to thank me again, and offered to treat us lunch, which we politely declined.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Credit Card Prank

Was it just me or the net is slow? Damn slow lar, in my office.

Anyway, just want to share this funny credit card prank, Part 1 and Part 2.

Just wondering whether they really checked the signature on the slip and match it with the back of the card.

Anyone dare to pull this stunt in Malaysia??

Instant Noodle

Do you know there's a restaurant that serves drinks in funny container?

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That's their lemon honey, very nice and refreshing. Especially on a hot day. I saw some funny looking 'glasses' for the other patrons. The vase, the nescafe glass container, the 'tau-chu' bottle, very creative.

The restaurant is called Wan Chai Kok. Located in the shoplots opposite Giant Puchong. I think you can also find them in IOI Mall Puchong.

But we were a bit dissapointed with the food though. I had some snacks like dumplings, cheese roll, and spring roll. Nothing to shout about. But the portion is too small and expensive.

But Mami ordered this:

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In the menu, it looked delicious, mee in soup based with an egg and some hams. But it turned out to be Maggi Mee aka instant noodle! And it's not even 'perisa kari'... aiyo. We were charged RM4.90 for this 'high-class' maggi mee. Even the mamak version costs only RM2.50.

I think we should have gone for their steam rice. Lots of varieties, and quite popular with the patrons there, must be nice. But then, we could be wrong.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


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"Fei Chan" is her toy frog. Fei Chan means Fat Chan in Cantonese. No one knows how she came up with this name for her toy frog.

Ha ha ha ... the above drawing is not by her lar... She was just making some lines on the paper. :)

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

18 Months

Yiyi's 18 months old today. That's 1 and half years. So how is she progressing?


She can sing. Some chinese and english songs and nursery rhymes. She can even compose her own songs that no one understand. Creative eh?

She can walk now. Yup, she's a slow starter, and only began to walk 2 months ago. And sometime, if you are not looking, she can even jump!

She can almost recite all the alphabets with the correspoding words in her little ABC book. A - Aligator, B - Burger, C - Carrot, D - Duck ... all the way to Z - Zip, missing only K - Kettle.

She can count from 1 - 10. But I don't think she understands the meaning of numbers. We are working on it. :)

She can dance. If she hears a tune or a music that catches her attention, and when she wanted to attract our attention, she would dance. Holding her hand high up in the air, she twists her body from left to right and vice versa. Het butt would be swinging, and her legs kicking.

She remembers some habit of the family members. For example, whenever her grandpa comes home from work and sits on his chair, she would go grab the newspaper and give it to him, yeling "Pou Chi! Pou Chi!". That's newspaper in Cantonese. Or whenever I reach for my bag and wallet, she would wave bye-bye to me.

She now has 12 teeth. 6 on top, 6 bottom. :)

A couple of days back, we brought her to the clinic for flu. At the weighing machine, I remarked at Mami, "Mami, I think they will need a different weighing machine. This one only max 10kg.". We have not been weighing her, but she have been growing well, her appertite has increase, and her food and formula milk intake have been quite good. And she has become heavier, maybe around 12kg.

"9kg!" the nurse announced. We were shocked!
"I thought she already passed 10 kg, maybe around 12 kg." Mami said.

But when we were briefed by the doctor, we were relieved. Apparently, her weight is still within the range and it's following the graph nicely. She gained about 1kg in about 3 months.

"Aiya! Don't worry lar!" one of my aunt said.
"Girls are like that one. You see your cousin ah, last time also like that. In Primary school, she was the smallest. After going to secondary school ah, she grew and became the tallest!" she explained.

Anyhow, as long as she's healthy, we are happy. :)

Will be uploading her photos tomorrow...stay tuned!

Friday, April 01, 2005

Yiyi's First Trip to Singapore - Day 2

On the second day, we started our day early. With a kid, there are so many things to prepare. Bathing Yiyi, preparing her stuff, clothing, food, milk etc. Once done, we headed to the hotel's restaurant for breakfast.

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Look at Yiyi, she was relaxing and having some bread. Notice the red patch on her face, it's a mosquito bite she got from Malacca.

After breakfast, we headed north toward Woodlands for the zoo. The parking is Autopass based, you will need to scan your card when exit. Entrance to the zoo costs S$14. The tram (train) ride is S$4. So for S$18, you get the entrance ticket and the tram ride. You can also get baby strollers from them, but I am not sure whether you need to rent it or they loan it to visitors.

The zoo adopts an open concept, which simulates the creature's natural habitat. We didn't see any cage or enclosures to keep the creatures from human (or is it the other way). All the compounds were separated by a ditch.

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This Siamang greeted us when we entered the zoo.

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Barbary Sheep

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A rhino and a baby rhino

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The lions lazing around in the hot afternoon.

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Leopard. The zoo installed some sort of microphone near this animal (a long range mic, I thnk), and it was amplified through a speaker outside the glass panel. So we could hear the leopard growl.

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Buaya's Waggy Tail

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I find it funny when a lot of people actually took photos of this bronze seal, when the real thing is just around the corner.

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The elephants making their way for the animal rides. In this zoo, you can ride the elephant, pony and the horse carriage.

We went around on feet, walking from one section to another, following the recommended trail on the map. It was a very hot day, and it was really difficult keeping Yiyi comfortable. She was sweating and at the same time, tired. But there were a lot of shades in the zoo, as well as shelters, restaurants, food & drink kiosk, washrooms etc.

We didn't catch any of the shows featured, as Yiyi was tired. So we decided to take the tram around the zoo and head back to the hotel. There were 4 stops in the zoo. The tram ticket allows only 4 stops, aka one complete round. The idea is to take the tram, and alight at each stop to explore the surroundings.

When we were leaving, I saw something that I know I got to try. Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream!! Yeay!! I ordered a large cup, three big scoops of delicious, mouth-watering, icy-cool chocolate chips, berries and vanilla ice-cream.

At night, we walked to Clarke Quay for sight-seeing.
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The stinking river on the way to Clarke Quay.

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There's a reverse bungee/slingshot ride at the Clarke Quay. Bungee jumping was not banned in Singapore but not one application has been successful previously. Not until mid 2003 where their ex-PM gave them the green light, to encourage risk-taking culture in Singaporean.

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So how's the trip? It was great, I say. We also managed to visit Mami's sister. At the end of the trip, we asked Yiyi to say goodbye to the hotel. She cried and refuse to leave. ha ha ha... Now, whenever we asked her whether she wants to stay in a hotel, she said "YES!". So I guess she had a great time.