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.