Thursday, November 16, 2006

New Blog

I've decided to stop posting much on this blog as Blogger has come up with Blogger Beta. It's been in the works for quite some time, and there's really not much support for Blogger Classic. This blog will be changing as well. Yes, I know it sounds complicated -- it is. So, rather than put any more effort into this one, I'm moving to a new address:

I only added an "s" to Americans, mainly so I would be able to remember the new URL. This blog will still be accessible.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

I'm Happy to Report Clear Skies

I took this picture this morning to show you how far we can see from our apartment on a clear day................we can see the hills of Malaysia!

Woodlands is a community in Singapore where one can access the Causeway to cross over to Malaysia. Bukit Timah is a prominent landmark in Singapore as it is the highest point on the island.

Some Of My Best Friends Are American

(Click to Watch)

Some of my best friends are American...............Please be kind to them

Hundreds Rally Against Bush Visit to Indonesia

Another interesting article in today's Straits-Times here is an excerpt:


JAKARTA - HUNDREDS of activists rallied yesterday in Bogor, West Java, against US President George W. Bush's planned visit while a bomb rocked an American fast-food outlet in East Jakarta.

No one was injured in the blast except for the man involved in what appeared to be a suicide bombing attempt at the A&W burger outlet in Plaza Kramat Jati.

Muhammad Nuh, 36, suffered severe wounds on his legs. Police are still investigating his motive.

Earlier, members of the militant group Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia picketed the Bogor Presidential Palace where President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is expected to meet Mr Bush next Monday.

They called on Mr Bush to scrap the visit, which they said would not benefit Indonesia.

The protesters, including women and children donning masks of the US President, carried banners saying 'Beware of Bush's rotten agenda' and 'Reject US imperialism in Indonesia and Muslim countries'.

Blogger Photo Upload Workaround

A couple of months ago, I ran across a workaround for uploading photos to Blogger, but now I can't find the blog. If I find it, I'll give credit where it's due. Until then, if you are having problems uploading, here's a simple fix:

Go to: Google Page Creator

Login to your Google account, create a page, and upload the photos you would like to include on your blog. Once they're uploaded, click on the photo and copy the URL address. Go back to Blogger and create your post, click on upload photo, but rather than using "Add an image from your computer", use "Add an image from the web". Below that, there is a box where you will paste the URL address you just copied. Click on "Upload Image", and it will appear in your post.

This has saved me countless hours of wasting time waiting for an image to upload.


My bowling buddy, Diane, called to tell me about a ship being docked at VivoCity, the new mega-mall in Singapore. We went to check it out, but didn't stay long because I think that 1.5 million of Singapore's 4 million residents were there! It was just too crowded. She took a picture of the ship, Doulos:
Afterward, we went to see our "adopted" son, Nabil (24-years old). I wish I'd taken his picture. He's got a new job at a place called Rogue's in the Central Business District. We lucked out in that they weren't busy, (the place only opened a week ago) so we could catch up with all the latest with him. He also told us that his younger sister, Fatima (20-years old), will wed a Norwegian named Fredrick next year. As their father is deceased, Nabil feels it is his responsibility to see that she marries a man who can care for her properly.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Election, Rumsfeld, and Germany

I haven't posted in a while. I've been busy reading about the elections and the "thumping" the Prez got. Needless to say, I'm quite happy and even quite hopeful that starting in January Dems can begin to lay the groundwork to get our country back.

I just saw this in Time:

Exclusive: Charges Sought Against Rumsfeld Over Prison Abuse
A lawsuit in Germany will seek a criminal prosecution of the outgoing Defense Secretary and other U.S. officials for their alleged role in abuses at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo

Just days after his resignation, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is about to face more repercussions for his involvement in the troubled wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. New legal documents, to be filed next week with Germany's top prosecutor, will seek a criminal investigation and prosecution of Rumsfeld, along with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former CIA director George Tenet and other senior U.S. civilian and military officers, for their alleged roles in abuses committed at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison and at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

You can read the rest of the article here.

Do you think the Germans have special interrogation plans too?

Bush to push counter-terrorism, trade on S-E Asian trip

The Prez will be here for an 8-day visit to Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam November 14 where he will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) forum summit.

I hope he doesn't stay in the Orchard Road area!

From The Straits-Times:

"South-east Asia is a region with an active Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist presence that we are working with partners to defeat,' Mr Bush's national security adviser Stephen Hadley told reporters on Thursday.

He said the trip would enable Mr Bush to forge partnerships with the region to tackle the serious challenges of terrorism and transnational health issues, including avian influenza - or 'bird flu', a major problem in South-east Asia.

Some of the suspected terrorist kingpins arrested after the Sept 11, 2001 attacks on the United States were based in or had links in South-east Asia, which Washington regards as the second front in the 'war on terror'.

Mr Hadley said the rapidly growing region was of 'great importance' to the United States.

But he noted that the region, where the United States is the biggest investor and top export market, was experiencing 'change and uncertainty, in some sense as a result of the changing power dynamics within Asia'.

Mr Bush would also seek to 'reaffirm the centrality of the freedom agenda' and 'continue to encourage efforts in the war on terror', said Mr Hadley.

To underscore religious freedom concerns, Mr Bush will join Vietnamese Christians for prayers in a church in Hanoi when he attends the Apec summit on November 18-19."

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


DAMN! This is a great video -- not perfect, only because the last minute should've been cut. Whoever "mgarthoff" is, his/her feelings about our country are the same as mine!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Just So You Know............

Yes............the world IS watching. The entire WORLD wants a REGIME CHANGE in the U.S. I am on the edge of my seat awaiting the results of this election. I'm just hoping that our votes actually count this time. I know that Patrick's wasn't counted in 2004 in GA, although he'd registered months before. OK, I won't dwell on that, I'll do my best to let it go.

I'm here by myself this evening. Michael will be home tomorrow morning. Just in time for me to watch the election returns!!! I rarely watch TV here because there's not much to watch, and I'm certainly not going to let some talking head tell me what I should figure out for myself. However, I'm so "itchy", I just turned the TV on to CNN (no, I absolutely will not pay for FAUX News). Anyway, I wonder how it is that CNN is just now highlighting all of the "trouble" that the GOP has gotten themselves into the night before the election? I really find that quite curious.

Don't bother even watching the crap they televise. Read, and think for yourself! I sure hope that all of you voted today (or early/absentee)! Of course, as the saying goes, I hope that "you voted early, and often".

I'll be watching, and so will the rest of the world.

A Few More Things.......

My mother-in-law has moved into an assisted-living facility in Carlinville. It's a brand-new place, and there are very few patients living there now. She's very excited about it, and she's getting lots of attention from the staff . Skip and Beth have made her new place comfortable and "homey". Michael flew back there last week to visit and lend a helping hand.

On his way over via Singapore Airlines, he was promptly greeted with yet ANOTHER bout of food poisoning. Never, I repeat, NEVER, eat ANY seafood when traveling from Asia to ANYWHERE. There were 3 tiny little shrimp on top of a lettuce salad, and he's fairly certain that's what made him sick. I've eaten that same salad many times now, but I won't again. I've avoided the scallops after his previous bout of food-poisoning. Fortunately, this bout wasn't as bad as two years ago, and he didn't need to go to the hospital. I think the problem with the seafood is that it is probably sitting out in the heat too long during transport to the airline. The attendants were very helpful and kind to him. He said after he was finished being sick, he was able to sleep about 10 hours. When he awoke, he saw three bags lined up in the seat next to him "just in case".

Once he got to Carlinville (there were delays getting him to St. Louis), he just went straight to his mom's house to sleep. I got an e-mail from Mom asking if he was planning to come to Indy to visit them and Jimmy. Turns out, she had to take Jim to the hospital for bleeding, but the doc released him. He was scheduled for 50 hours work last week, and he was excited about making more than the usual money.

After Michael had spent some time with Glo and set up a TV in her bedroom, he decided to head over to Indy. Once he got there, Mom filled him in on Jim's health problem. Michael stayed the night at Jim's place, but ended up taking him to the ER very early in the morning. This is where it gets sketchy for me because of the time difference, etc.; that really gets confusing. He was suffering from very serious bleeding and the doc admitted him this time. The gastroenterologist scoped his stomach and colon. He discovered inflammation, and did a biopsy.

The diagnosis is diverticulosis -- certainly not common for a 24-year old, but he's a junk-food junkie. Please, please, please, consider eating vegetables and fruits again????

It was hell being over here knowing my "baby" was so ill. That's the part I hate about living overseas.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Singapore Culture -- Simplified Overview

A fellow blogger asked me about the culture of Singapore. I'd started an e-mail, but decided I should post instead. I hope you find it interesting......... :-D

Singapore is a very cosmopolitan place. There are about 4 million people here. Where we live is a lot like New York City. I've never lived in Manhattan, but I've been there more than a few times having lived an hour north of "The City" (as it's referred to by "upstate" people) several years ago.

There are about 30,000 cabs here, mass transit (buses and trains), so we do not own a car here. Since we're in the Orchard district we walk most places or walk out to the street to hail a cab. If it's raining or rush-hours, it is nearly impossible to get one. It took me a while to get used to shopping without having a car. After a couple of weeks, I discovered that most merchants will deliver for free if you spend S$150 or more. That helps, a lot, but requires some planning before a shopping expedition.

The national past-time is shopping.....I've never seen so many shopping malls in my life. I don't have any idea how many there are on Orchard Road alone. It's amazing! They're almost always busy too, even later in the evenings. Same thing goes with restaurants. A lot of nightclubs have live entertainment through the entire week, not just weekends. I find that amazing, and I think most foreigners do too.

The work hours are a bit different here than in the U.S. A lot of people don't start work until 8:30 or 9:00, but will work much later in the evening. Daylight hours are almost 12 hours year-round, from 7 am to 7 pm. "No worries" (a favorite saying here) about Daylight Savings Time.

It is always the same here; same as the weather: hot, humid, sunny, or rainy. I must say, though, that summers here are much better than in the U.S. The temperature remains rather constant, unlike what was experienced this past summer with the heat waves back home.

Singapore is also famous for their food, and rightfully so. The population is very diverse and so are the foods: Chinese (various provinces), Malay, Indonesian, Indian, Peranakan, etc. There are others, but I haven't experienced them yet. Some Singaporean favorites are: chicken rice, chili crab, black pepper crab, char kwae teow, laksa, etc.

ANTHONY BOURDAIN, of the New York Times, has an excellent article on Singapore here.

Here's a snippet:

"One of the joys of my life is that I am published in Singapore and televised there. This requires me to make frequent visits. The first time, I went for business. By the second time, I’d made friends. Now? I go for the food. Since I’m known as the American guy who likes to eat both the everyday food of Asia and some of its more extreme varieties, people there like to show me a good time. I’m fortunate that one of the first people I met was KF Seetoh, the editor and founder of Makansutra, a guide to the city’s street food and restaurants. Experience has taught me that when Seetoh, an enthusiastic Chinese Singaporean with a weathered face and a Gilligan hat, says that a place is good, it is in fact great. He has fed me some of the best meals of my life — and I rely on him and his guidebook without question. Not that I need the guy. Everyone in Singapore is an expert on food."

I'd say that one of the extreme varieties Mr. Bourdain refers to is Durian. I'm not the most well-traveled person, however, that has got to be one of the stinkiest fruits on earth. Yes, I've tried it; it's not bad, but I still have trouble getting past the smell. I never would've known such a stinky fruit existed if I hadn't been willing to leave my "comfort zone" in the U.S.

The majority of Singaporeans live in HDB flats that they purchase from the government. It is rare for Singaporeans to use aircons or clothes dryers because electricity is very costly. We have a subsidy, as ex-pats, to cover the cost of our utilities, but electricity is a huge chunk of our budget here. We are very careful about conserving energy. Americans need to learn a thing or two from Singaporeans about conservation.

I will try to do another post about things that I find interesting about Singaporean culture in the future. In the meantime, check out this video from Tartansuitcase

Men Don't Want to Look at Naked Men

I thought this was a funny ad, don't click on it if you're offended by almost naked female breasts!

I Repeat -- Some People are Just STUPID IDIOTS!

Some People Are Just STUPID IDIOTS!

Banning books about banning books

(Click to Watch)

Adding a Time Clock to Your Blog

I've been asked a few times how I added the Time Clock to my blog. Clicking on the Time Clock link will take you directly to the site to generate your own clock. Select the options that you would like for your own clock. You can change the font and background colors to suit your own blog. Once you have the clock the way you want it, click on "Show HTML for clock". This will generate the code you need to copy and paste to your template.

If you want your clock in the sidebar you will need to paste the code between:

The sidebar information is located quite a distance from the top of the template.

After you have pasted the code, click on the "Preview" button. If everything looks the way you want it, then click "Save Template Changes" and republish your blog.

A word of caution: prior to making any changes to your template, always copy and paste the template code to Notepad and save to a file name you'll remember. This way if Blogger goes down (which seems to be happening quite frequently of late), or things get messed up after publishing you can easily copy and paste the original code into your template.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Joerg's Visit

Joerg came to town for a visit this week. A bunch of us met at Brewerkz and then we walked over to Harry's @ Boat Quay. Lottie was singing, and Denise and Sally were there too. Haven't seen them in a very long time. It was fun.

Then, Geli noticed Gregory, from Ukraine; he is far left in the photo, Geli, Joerg, and then Hauke.

Monday, October 30, 2006

I've Got the "Willies" Now!

I was heating up the little T-Fal electric grill we have in the kitchen, I closed the kitchen door and then partially opened the windows in there for some ventilation. Suddenly, I was being swarmed by "flying ants"! I think that they were termites, but that doesn't matter. I FEEL SWARMED! EEEEK!!! I NEED A 3RD SHOWER!

I became a woman with a "mission from God" (remember the Blues Brothers?)! I closed the windows, found my fly-swatter in the laundry room, covered the food I was preparing, and then started swatting those suckers like a mad woman! Holy Moly! It's just not right to have swarming insects flying freely this high up in the atmosphere AND IN MY DAMN KITCHEN!

I would've used my handy-dandy Baygone, but I only want to kill those damn flying bugs, NOT myself!

It's been a couple of hours now..........I think I've gotten all of those critters with the fly-swatter. You'd better hope so, or there's going to be more posts about creepy-flying things in our apartment!

Singapore Demolition

Demolition and construction is a constant here in Singapore. Three new condos are being built nearby. The jack-hammering on the condo in this video started yesterday. Fortunately, the building being taken down here isn't as tall as the Ardmore View was. They worked 6 days a week for at least 6 months to raze it.

The tall building you see from our bedroom window is the Shangri-La Hotel

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Blogger is Giving Me a Headache!

I'll admit, I'm not the most blog-savvy person in the world. I'm just geeky enough to be dangerous. However, every time I try to do something new with this blog, Blogger is either down, slow, or as happened to me today, giving me error messages. I'm just trying to figure out WHY I'm getting the error messages. Each time I try to publish, it's a different message. So, this is only a test of the Geek broadcasting system.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Chattahoochee River

Patrick rode his new mountain bike to the river yesterday and sent me these pictures.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Friday, October 20, 2006

Just A Few Things......

I went to the doctor today just to get the usual meds, and was about to leave when one of the women who works for Dr. Tan said that he forgot to give me a flu shot. I went back in, and he gave me the flu shot. No such thing as having 50 nurses/aides running around. I go into his office, sit down next to his little desk, and he does vitals, etc. It's like the olden days -- and it's so much better! It costs S$35 to see the doctor. Yes, the meds still cost a fortune, but whaddya' gonna' do when most are from the U.S?

The Singapore Government had asked all doctors to order enough shots for all of their patients. Imagine that -- no shortage of flu shots, and I can get it at my doctor's office! No standing in long queues or going to six different places to try to get a shot.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Keith Olbermann's Special Comment on Military Commissions Act

I enjoy Keith Olbermann's "Special Comments"; this man does not back down nor is he afraid to call 'em as he sees 'em. We need a lot more people like him.

Cheney's Grand Scam

(Click to play)

Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew

Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew (founding father of Singapore) arrived at the Pentagon yesterday for talks with Donald Rumsfeld. MM Lee is in the U.S. for a two-week visit.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Jim at Home

We gave Jim our old camera several months ago, and he has finally sent me some pictures of he and his "roommate" Ray.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

"Bone the Page"

(Click to listen to a sleazy, sicko-song)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Singapore Haze Worsens

Around 4 pm I was headed for the laundry room and looked out the window to discover the haze is probably the worst it has ever been since we've lived here. I checked the National Environment Agency's website for the PSI then and it was up to 130! The same thing at 5 pm. I just tried to check it a few minutes ago and the website is bogged down with traffic.

The Associated Press has reported that flights have been cancelled due to brush fires in Borneo and Sumatra.

Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) has come up with a new pact to prevent the haze, but up to now, no pact has been effective. Indonesia says that they will prosecute plantation owners who start fires, but as we've witnessed ourselves, it's not working.

Meteorologists say that we can expect the haze to worsen.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

U.S. Marines in Singapore

After the movie, we went to Boat Quay for dinner. As we were walking to get a taxi, I remarked that we'd never checked out Molly Malone's before. Once inside, we heard a young man talking about his experience at Orchard Towers, and then he said it was his birthday. We decided that we should buy him a birthday drink.

It turned out that he had a lot of buddies with him -- U.S. Marines here only for the weekend. It was really fun talking with them. It made me miss the days when Jim and Patrick would have a bunch of guys over to hang out (although I don't miss cleaning up after them). These young men have very hard jobs, and I admire them for their commitment to serve our country. Thanks guys!

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

We were finally able to see "Talldega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby"! My face hurts, I laughed so hard. Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that Will Farrell ends up wearing just his underwear in almost everything he does?

Patrick's Pics

I've been bugging Patrick to send me some pictures for a LONG time. He finally did yesterday (you can click on the pic to see a larger image)...............

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Raconteurs Live -- "Level"

Patrick told me about the Raconteurs the other day, and I went searching for a video, but could only find them with the audience singing louder than the band. He came up with this one; it's a cool song. Their sound seems familiar to me; is it to you?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Feeling - Sewn

The Feeling - "Sewn"
Live at Manchester Fopp

I like this song

Blogspot Is Acting Weird

Something weird happened with my previous post. This is a test.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Kentucky Lake -- 2004

The other day I was going through "My Documents" (I think I was looking for that Chris Isaak song); I ended up being distracted by a Word Document from 2 years ago. I must give a bit of background here.......

We went on a long-weekend vacation trip to Kentucky Lake where we met Skip, Beth, and Jessica. We brought Woofie along (she drove Jess bonkers!!), but for an old dog, she was pretty well-behaved. She had the best time sniffing all sorts of things and woofing at dogs that happened to walk in front of our little place. That's what all good Woofstas are supposed to do.

The place where we were staying was very nice -- clean, well-equipped kitchen, near the lake. Nice! It even had a little grill in front for us to barbeque. Yet, the weather went bad on us -- cold and rainy. Michael and I had to buy sweatshirts (we came up from Atlanta), then as we were getting ready to rent our fishing boat, Jess' bag was stolen! Can you believe that? In Kentucky!

We went out and Michael, Skip and Jess fished along the coves in our little pontoon boat. All was well -- UNTIL I needed to use the bathroom! OMG! OK, I'll leave it to your imagination.

Now, I'm sure I'm forgetting a lot of things (I didn't have a blog back then). We decided that we would go out to dinner one evening while we were there. Skip and Beth had heard many good things about "Patty's Settlement". It's a quaint little spot with antiques stores and pretty gardens in Western Kentucky.

We decided that we'd go to the restaurant at Patty's that got rave reviews from Carlinville folks. I can't remember what I ordered or anyone else, for that matter, but Skip ordered the smoked pork chops. It took the waiter a long time to wait on us. Then, he told us that they don't serve BEER; only non-alcoholic beverages such as iced tea. OK, no big whoop (to us gals), but Skip and Michael wanted to eat dinner and get the heck out of there! It was really quiet in the place too. We were all afraid to speak above a whisper.

We were finally served our meals and Skip announces, "This smoked pork chop tastes like ham. I don't like ham." Jess offered him her meal, and I think they traded some food. It was funny -- except that Skip was hungry and he doesn't like ham.

The waiter was not the best -- especially once he told the guys there was no beer on the premises. There just so happened to be a customer comment/survey card at the table that Michael slyly snapped up to take home with us when nobody was looking.

A couple of weeks later, Michael showed me the customer comment/survey card and this letter that "Raymond Lipinski" wrote to Skip:

July 30th, 2004

Dear Mr. Brooks,

I’m just writing to advise you that my employment from Patty’s has been terminated as a “direct” result of the enclosed customer survey response.

I thought that my level of service to you and your guests at Patty’s Settlement on the evening of July 25th was of the highest quality. However, based on the fallout since that evening it is clear my assumption was quite inaccurate. I am still not clear what transpired during the course of that evening that could have justified such a savage and brutal attack on a college-bound waiter looking to earn book money for his first semester. Was it the quiet dining area of our establishment that caused you incredible distress? Was our tea not up to the standards set by people from “middle” Illinois? Or, perhaps a more direct question, do you just not know how to properly order when confronted with a full savory menu of PORK & PIE?

I suspect you are some sick son-of-a-bitch who just wanders around eating restaurant favorites, only to then lay waste to the support staff for what must clearly be a twisted sense of humor. Everyone knows that when you smoke a pork chop it tastes like ham. What $%^&ing planet did you come from to be stupid enough to think it would taste like just a “smoked” pork chop. Man! Come to your culinary senses!

Perhaps it was the fact that our humble little county chooses to not serve “devil’s brew” to each and every patron who enters our establishment. I see it all the time, a drink before dinner, chuckles at the table, another during the meal, a satisfying belch at the end. God knows what happens to your poor meal mate once you get her home. Wild crazy sex in all rooms of the house. Have you no morals? We certainly do.

I must close now so I can go and get into the unemployment line down at the Kentucky Dam. Just remember the little guy the next time you order out and remember:


Belittled and bewildered,

Raymond Lipinski
Ex- Patty’s Settlement waiter for 5 years

P.S. I think your wife is really hot.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

A Presidential "Job Description"

President Bush announces his JOB DESCRIPTION:

Gnarls Barkley

I was talking to Patrick the other day, and he told me that he went to see Gnarls Barkley last weekend. I told him I'd never heard of them.................but maybe "I'm Crazy" because I HAVE heard them a lot on the radio here. Duh!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Chris Isaak

I forgot to include Chris Isaak in my "profile".................oh my, the song "Wicked Games" is just so................Good....... I know I've got it on a CD, but I can't find it. Probably in storage somewhere. Anyway, I was chatting with my sisters and Jennifer claimed not to know this song. Donna and I went bonkers on her! She KNOWS this song, just not the name. Check it out. One of my favs!

Singapore Haze -- Again Dammit!!!

The haze is even worse tonight! No wonder the scientists have said that Singaporeans are "screwed" if there's a major volcano in Indonesia.............I UNDERSTAND!

Now, please stop the rain forest fires..........please???


Check out Alex's friend's blog Beautiful pictures of Romania (this link is to Ana Catarina's 1st birthday).

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

"The Tenth Circle" by Jodi Picoult

I spent most of my morning trying to take care of some financial issues in the U.S. I think I was on hold for most of it! What a pain!

I went online for the programming guide to see what I could watch while doing my elliptical and ended up settling on an old "Judging Amy". I think I've seen that episode 3 times now, it's a good one though. I can't use the DVD player because it isn't hooked up. The last TV Michael bought from the employee store is a POS. Never get a POS TV!

After doing my duty of one hour on the elliptical, I decided I'd start in on the next book for our club -- "The Tenth Circle" by Jodi Picoult. She got me hooked within the first few paragraphs. I've not been able to put it down. There are a lot of parallels to the last book we read, "Man and Boy" by Tony Parsons: married couple with one child, father is a stay-at-home dad, mother is a professor of literature specializing in Dante. I won't say anymore than that because I don't want to spoil it. I would definitely recommend this one even though I'm only on page 115 out of 385.

Singapore Haze -- Is Better Today

The hill in the background is Bukit Timah. I can actually see it today! The Straits-Times said today that the haze brought the Pollutants Standards Index (PSI) to 73 yesterday. A reading of 100 is considered unhealthy. From the Straits-Times, "Fires are set by farmers to clear the land during the dry season in Sumatra and Borneo every year. They have continued the practice despite Jakarta's threat that it will prosecute landowners caught in the act.
More than 240 people and two companies are now awaiting criminal charges for the offence."

Let's hope we get some rain soon to put out the fires.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Bad Haze

I took this pic with my phone this afternoon because the haze is so bad, I can't even see Bukit Timah, a very big hill! I think it's much worse today than yesterday. From a Straits-Times article yesterday, "The National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Sunday that active hotspots continued to rage in two provinces in south Sumatra, located south of Singapore." I don't know if the fires there were intentionally set or not.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Wanda Sykes

The other day I was going through some video and audio files I've got stored, and I replayed "Honda Service Call". I STILL laugh so hard I get tears in my eyes. How on earth does Wanda Sykes come up with these pranks? If you've got a couple of minutes, listen to Impound Crap

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Book Club -- "Man and Boy" by Tony Parsons

We had book club today at Robin's. I'm not sure how much or if anyone enjoyed the book. I didn't do any book club searches on it. I was in the book store, it caught my eye, I read the first page, and I liked it. We had some interesting conversations about romance, fidelity, trust, long-term marriage, divorce, etc.

Robin has a fun, feisty cat who decided that he needed to sit lie down right behind Pam. He wanted to be part of our book club. I was reminded me of a "wild cat" video of Pinkey. Here it is:

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Jing got her hair cut!

Dummies Guide to Google Blogger: How do i post a photo on my blog title bar - Tips for blogspot Newbies

Peter's blogs have been an enormous help to me and MANY others. I still somehow get HTML code messed up, but I have his blog bookmarked and I check it frequently for new information.

Dummies Guide to Google Blogger: How do i post a photo on my blog title bar - Tips for blogspot Newbies

Monday, September 25, 2006


Last year, I discovered Arnott's Biscuits, an Australian company. They have the most delicious Mint Slice (way better than Thin Mints by the Girl Scouts) and Tim Tams. I just checked the website and they're going to offer Mint Slice in balls (sort of like a malted milk ball). I've already found Tim Tams in balls. Last night, I just happened to look at the back of the box of Tim Tam Balls and it reads:

"Kiss them, crunch them, seduce them, roll them down the aisle, nibble them, juggle them, suck them, melt them in your mouth, chomp them, devour them, spin them, love them"

One More Condo Quirk

Over the last few months, the circuit-breaker for the water regulator (I'm assuming that's what it's called) has been tripping. The result is, no water-pressure. Everytime it's occurred, I've called the guards and they have to go to the roof to re-set it. Last week (Wed.), I e-mailed Mr. Yeo who promised to have the offending breaker replaced as well as checking the monitor.

The breaker has tripped every day since then. Thursday (fire day) 2 times, Sunday 2 times, today -- so far, once. This is getting ridiculous!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Allen and Becky and the "Raining Aircons"

Allen and Becky went to the U.S. for 2+ weeks. Since we're in the same building, Becky asked me if I would look in on their place and water their plants every 3-4 days. When they moved in a year ago, the owner of their condo had all of the aircons replaced. Becky said that the one in their bedroom would "rain" occasionally. She left a towel under it to catch the drips. Last week, I noticed that it was dripping some, so I turned that one off.

Thursday while waiting for the all-clear from the guards from the stupid fire in the lift I decided I'd check their place. I discovered that the main circuit-breaker had tripped and their place was very stuffy. (Another friend, Robin, had told Becky of her experience returning home from a 3-week trip to discover all of their furniture covered in mold. Robin had to hire a company that specializes in mold removal to clean their furniture.)

I flipped the circuit-breaker, and all of the aircons were "onned" --everything was hunky-dory.

Michael and I did some shopping today and bought some groceries. I said, "I'm just going to check on Allen and Becky's place and water the plants. Will you put the groceries away while I'm over there?"

I walked into their place and saw a LAKE in their dining room! I couldn't find the control to turn off the aircon. They have a beautiful wool carpet under a very heavy dining table. I frantically called Michael (who was still putting stuff away) "There's a lake in Allen and Becky's dining room from the aircon and I can't find the control to turn it off. The water is pouring from it like a faucet! Will you come over here?"

I finally came to my senses and used the remote-control for the bedroom aircon to turn off the dining room aircon. The water continued to flow even after I "offed" it.

Michael came to my rescue and we went on a quest for towels that weren't pristine white. Soon we were sopping up the water -- we looked like Lucy and Ethel in the grape-stomping episode.

Michael went back to our place and then brought our ladder and more beige-colored towels along with an extension cord. We moved the fans from their kitchen into the dining room and aimed them onto the rug. He opened up the cover of the aircon and put a towel in the trough to wick the water into the towel.

Once we were satisfied we'd done everything we could for late Saturday afternoon, Michael decided that the next most logical step was to raid their fridge for a couple of Stellas.

Friday, September 22, 2006

The House from Hell

Last month, we were notified that we needed to buy a new dishwasher for the house in ATL. Two days ago, we got another notification that the microwave is dead. The microwave in that house is a built-in combo unit with the regular oven below -- not cheap!

In the last year and a half we have replaced:

Both air conditioners
Both garage door openers
Numerous misc things.

I expect the roof is next.........So, when we sell the house we can say that all major appliance(s) are new.... :-)

The Lift

Saturday evening before the Red Hot Birthday Bash, we invited Alex, Cristina, Geli, and Hauke to come over for some drinks and a bite to eat beforehand. We all got into the lift and when we got to about the 15th floor, we heard a very disturbing clang.

The noise continued until Wednesday, when the manager of the building, Mr. Yeo, had it shut down for the day to have the main cable replaced. Thank goodness!

So, yesterday, I was doing some research on the computer and waiting for Michael's dry-cleaning to be delivered. Jing was in the kitchen. When the Laundry Club guy came to deliver the dry-cleaning, I buzzed him up, but nothing happened. I got back on the phone "thingy" (one of my favorite technical terms) and buzzed him up again. As soon as I pressed the button, the fire alarm bells started ringing! I ran into my office to check when management would be conducting the monthly testing of the fire alarms -- and it wasn't scheduled until Monday, the 25th.

I called the guardhouse; no answer. I opened our front door and could smell the acrid smell of an electrical fire in our lift lobby. The Laundry Club guy arrived in our lift. I paid him rather frantically, and gave him my dress to be cleaned. He went back down in our regular lift. I really didn't want him to use that lift, but he insisted. He was scared too.

After he left, I went looking for Jing. I went into the kitchen to find her practically hanging out the window looking for smoke! I said, "Jing, the fires got to be in the lift lobby. I can smell an electrical fire. Let's just get the hell out of here now."

I grabbed my bag, cell-phone, towels and a few bottles of water. We took the stairs down to the 8th floor. We peeked into the hallway and didn't smell smoke. So, we took the service lift down to the lobby (my thighs are killing me today!).

By the time Jing and I made it to the lobby, Mr. Yeo was there and the lift repairmen were already in the building, but preparing to leave. I told Mr. Yeo that I smelled an electrical fire in the lift. Then another woman from our tower came down via the service lift and she also smelled burning rubber. The guards were scurrying about; some were going to the basement, others up to the roof.

We waited in the lobby to get the all-clear. Then, the lift repairmen came in with Mr. Yeo. Mr. Yeo looked at me with an embarrassed smile and said, "No fire, only idiot smoking cigarette in lift." I looked at them incredulously and said, "That was not cigarette smoke. It is most definitely an electrical fire, and it could still be smoldering." He turned to the head repairman, "What did you to to my lift? You go back to find what is burning now!" Jing and I just looked at each other. The men left again and were gone for another 15 minutes or so.

While we were waiting I continued to watch the guards, and then I saw Yacob with a fire blanket heading to the basement. Eventually, everyone convened in the lobby and gave the all-clear. Mr. Yeo assured me that everything was fine with the lift.

As the repairmen were leaving, Jing said something to the head repairman in, I think, Tagalog. She translated for me later and said that he told her the lift motor had caught fire.

Can you believe that the fire department doesn't respond to a fire alarm unless the management calls them first? Back home, there would've been two fire trucks and at least one ambulance!

Everything worked out ok, but that was all the excitement I needed for the day.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

This Blog..........

Bugs the ever-livin' crap out of me! For the last two days I've been trying to figure out what was wrong with my template. I changed it, and of course, lost all of my custom changes from the previous template. Well, guess what was wrong with it -- NOTHING!

The only thing was that the pictures I'd posted on Sunday were too large for the formatting. I adjusted the pics, and VOILA! It's fixed. I'm too compulsive, I know, but I was able to figure this out thanks to Blogger Tips and Tricks.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The SAX is WOW!

More Pics from Red Hot Birthday Bash

The KissShe's Got Legs and Knows How to Use Them!

The Grab

Michael's Birthday - Part III

We went to the American Club's Red Hot Birthday Bash celebration with Alex, Cristina, Geli and Hauke. When the American Club hosts a party, they do it up right! We spent most of the evening in the Union Bar because we'd managed to find a good table in the back and didn't want to lose it. We also found out that Geli likes tequila, so we indulged.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Michael's Birthday - Part II

Cristina and Catarina FINALLY made it home from their two-month trip to Romania. She and Alex have been through a major hassle because Romania has instituted new laws to prevent baby trafficking.

They joined us last night at River Quay for a birthday dinner for Michael. Madame Loh had a special birthday cake made for Michael and balloons decorations above our table. It was fun!

Singing "Happy Birthday"

Friday, September 15, 2006

Michael's Birthday

Michael returned home Thursday morning from a 10-day trip to Europe. Since he was so tired, we decided to go to the American Club for a burger and beers at Harry's. Before we left, I gave him his birthday present. He's very happy with it.

Cheeseburger Birthday Dinner :-)

Michael returned home Thursday morning from a rough 10-day trip to the Netherlands. Although, he did get to stay with Joerg and Lucia in Amersfoort last Saturday. Amersfoort was hosting some sort of festival and there was music and beer everywhere. He had a great time and it was a nice break from "business as usual". The next morning, we got on Skype and chatted...........he made them his famous breakfast of fried potatoes with onions and cheese, eggs, and bacon. Joerg brought a plateful and put it in front of the camera for me to see. I think I could smell the aroma all the way over here!

Thursday night, Michael was obviously jet-lagged. So, we went to "the club" (The American Club) to split a bacon cheeseburger and a few beers. Then we walked down the street to Harry's. The band sang their version of "Happy Birthday" to him. The place was packed because this week Singapore is hosting the IMF/World Bank hoo-ha. Americans were warned by the Embassy to stay away from tourist areas -- only, we LIVE in a tourist area. So far, so good though.

Vivian brought Michael some sort of flaming drink and then he asked for her to bring one to me too. It had a licorice kind of flavor, but you know I drank it up! Had to use a straw. Holy Moly!

Thursday, September 14, 2006


I just found this video today on YouTube. The video is not good, but you'll hear why cardejah recorded it.


Sarah's Other Blog: WFMW: Posting video in your blog

Sarah has SAVED ME SO MUCH TIME! Thanks again, Sarah!

Sarah's Other Blog: WFMW: Posting video in your blog

Tania -- Mustang Sally

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Shangri-La Hotel

We were all worn out from touring so much over the last week. Michael suggested that we treat ourselves to a 1-hour massage over at the Shangri-La Hotel. It was Jimmy's and Mary's first time, and I think they enjoyed it. We were all very relaxed afterwards.

It was still raining today, so we just stayed in. Around 4:30, I remembered that was the time that Big Jim always got Gloria a glass of wine. Poor Dad, I got distracted and didn't even offer him something! Jeez! What a dorky hostess. Finally, I got around to getting him a beer and then we "cheered" each other. I told them about Lucia's superstition that everyone must look each other in the eyes because if they don't, they'll end up with 6 years of bad sex. Dad replied, "Bad sex is better than NO sex!!" Great line Dad!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Bum Boat Ride

After Mom, Dad, and Mary returned home from their trek in MacRitchie Reservoir, we had McDonald's delivered for lunch for them. Jimbo and I had just had them deliver an hour before they got home. McDonald's must think I have a bingeing problem!

We all rested a while and then Jim wanted to check out Bugis Junction. He finally found a cool game room there, but our feet hurt too much to hang around while he played video games. So, we headed over to Boat Quay for a river cruise in a bum boat.

After our little river cruise, Mom, Dad, and Mary headed home, but Jim and I ate dinner in a little restaurant near the Merlion. After dinner, we walked over to the Fullerton Hotel to get a taxi. We ended up getting what Mom calls "taxi-jacked". I think the driver thought he could get by driving in circles before taking us home. What should have been a S$6.50 trip ended up costing $10! I reported him to the Land Transport Authority and to the taxi company.