Monday, August 31, 2009

child's innocence

we were enjoying ourselves, peeling off & eating the last peanuts left over from my father's wake. i jokingly told my son to thank gong-gong for the peanuts.

obediently, he remarked:

"thanks, gong-gong, for the peanuts. i can't wait for the next funeral!!"

Sunday, August 30, 2009

the flesh is weak

we were at the mall when this guy tried to get me to apply for a credit card, which i declined. i was glad he didn't persist because we were already hungry & were going for dinner.

after dinner we passed by the same people promoting credit cards, but this time it was a girl who tried to convince me. as usual, i declined but she was more persistent than her male colleague, expounding the benefits of the card plus the free toy gift. as i walked off, she followed me, this time coming up with the sob story about having to work the whole day without a successful application.

that tugged at my heart strings, so i relented but with a condition. i said i'd agree only if my son liked the toy. as it turned out, the boy didn't. not to be outdone, & like a last gasp effort, she offered not one but 2 carrier bags as replacement, again reiterating that she's not had a "sale" all day. i finally caved in.

so now, i'm the proud owner of 2 new carrier bags & soon, another 2 credit cards from citibank.

Friday, August 28, 2009

the decision



& delivered.....

(well almost)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

the devil & the deep blue sea

the road transport dept knows it, we know it, & studies have shown it - putting on seat-belts save lives.

however, seat-belts also cause injuries of their own when the vehicle is involved in a collision. the rapid deceleration from say, 100kmph to zero, results in the human body moving forward but restrained by the seat belt, can cause severe internal injuries. i blogged about this some time back but i think this important message warrants a repeat.

mdm S was a back seat passenger in a car that hit a tree. the driver & all passengers are alive but only mdm S sustained potentially life-threatening injuries as a result of the seat belt,eg .
...fractured breastbone

....fractured right ribs

......fractured left ribs

......lacerated left kidney....

and a cracked spine

she is recuperating in ICU & currently does not need surgery. if i had to choose between the devil & the deep blue sea, i'd still settle for the lesser of the two evils, aka seat-belt.

PS. the advances in medical imaging produced the crystal clear CT scan pictures that allow accurate diagnosis.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

flying the nest

she did everything herself.

from obtaining the application form, to filling it up & photostating the various documents. my role was to post it off.

& to give her my full support.

yesterday, she went for the written tests & today, the interview. when they offered her a place, she cried. i thought they were tears of joy but no, she was overwhelmed with sadness.

because she realised she will be leaving home.

i can understand her position. i was already 19 when i left home for varsity. for all her maturity she has displayed at 15, she's still our little girl. when she makes her decision in the next few days & when the impact of the offer has finally sunk in, she knows she has come to the 1st of many crossroads in life.

ah, such a heavy responsibility on a young shoulder....

In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. prov 16:9

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

dust to dust

at the crematorium, each of us bade our final farewell before the casket was put through the furnace. my son's brave assertion, in between sobs, said it all:

"bye bye, gong-gong. i love you."

dust you are and to dust you will return."
gen 3:19

PS. my late father's ashes will be brought back to JB to fulfill his final wish. his framed photo that was used for the funeral would be hung on the wall facing our front door, to fulfill my son's earnest wish - that he can say "goodbye" to gong-gong as he goes to school & "hello" when he comes home.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

tears from heaven

he wake service was an eye-opener. having informed only the church, our relatives & closest colleagues & friends, & not placing an obituary notice in the papers, we were overwhelmed that a hundred people turned up at my humble abode, some having to stand barely within the canopy in the rain.

the pastor shared a message on life after death, following which my daughter & i delivered the eulogy. i've always dreamed of speaking to an audience with standing room only & that partly came true. i mentioned tongue-in-cheek that my father must have been pleased with what i had to say, equating the falling rain to tears from heaven.

overheard was a comment made by a taoist colleague, that he was suitably impressed that christian brothers & sisters often came in full support for each other & (such irony!) that none themselves have christian names.

wasn't it shakespeare who wrote that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

gone home.

he lived in malaya through japanese occupation, communist threat, may 19 & SARS;

he underwent 3 major & risky surgeries & escaped the jaws of death each time;

he suffered from parkinsonism for 7 years;

he survived life-threatening pneumonia (not H1N1) 2 months ago;

he stubbornly refused to give up the fight;

but today, he peacefully breathed his last.

father, may you find rest in the bosom of the Lord.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2Tim 4:7

Friday, August 14, 2009

GREAT news for men!

the guys will love this....

so here's something to prolong your lives.....

but the bad news is that...
the survey was a fraud & no such study was ever published in the NEJM.

sorry, guys, you still need that gym membership.

have a GREAT (heh, heh) weekend!!


Thursday, August 13, 2009

early start

it's common knowledge that if you want to learn something, you should start young. somehow, young minds & limbs acquire skills with ease. hence, they start piano & language classes even at pre-school.

i learned to play chess when i was 6. my kids started piano lessons at 5. but when the boy asked me to teach him solve sudoku puzzles, i told him i'd do it when he's older. however, he was adamant that younger was better. so, i showed him the puzzle in today's Star papers & taught him the rules.

surprisingly, even to me, he seemed to have caught on rather quickly. with some pointers from me, he managed to go this far by bed time.....

not bad for a 1st timer, huh?

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. prov 22:6

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

why most medical reps are women.

the battle lines have been drawn.

company F has been selling its product to the hospital at rm37 each. big mean company B has entered the fray & introduced a similar product, under its own brand name, at a "bargain" of only rm31.50.

both products are just as good.
both companies provide good after sales service.
both companies are prepared to send staff for meetings/conferences to update themselves on new medical practices.

actually, i don't like B because by virtue of its size & extensive range of products, & having dealings with most government hospitals, they tend to be a little arrogant.

but i think they broke the rules for a fair fight by sending their reps dressed like this....

(did the air-con break down, or do i feel a little hot?)


Monday, August 10, 2009

have we become a kiasu nation?

myth #1: taking flu vaccination or tamiflu tablets prevents one from getting H1N1 flu

fact: the current flu vaccine & tamiflu are effective against the common types of influenza A infection but NOT H1N1 (& certainly not against bird flu H5N1)

myth #2: when one has H1N1, taking tamiflu is the cure for it

fact : tamiflu has no beneficial effect on H1N1 (read here)

so, why are some people still taking tamiflu? the only benefit is that it will cure the common flu, so that if they have a flu & don't get better with tamiflu, then it is most likely H1N1. the downside is that with widespread & indiscriminate use, new resistant strains of the virus may emerge.

even the new H1N1-specific vaccine (read here) that is being tested now is only effective against the current strain of the H1N1 virus. by the time it becomes available in a few months, a new strain may have evolved, rendering the vaccine ineffective.

oh yes, closing schools also may not limit the spread of H1N1 during a pandemic. (read here)

what's really important are the back-to-basic concepts (which we all already know!) :
1) cultivate healthy lifestyle,eg. nutritious food, exercise & adequate rest
2) maintain personal hygiene, eg. wash hands frequently after contacts, cover nose/mouth when coughing/sneezing,
3) avoid, as far as possible, crowded enclosed spaces; otherwise, wear a mask.

by all means, take all the necessary precautions as detailed in the media & other sources of information, esp. with the sudden rise in fatalities, but let's not overdo it. a course of tamiflu treatment costs about RM150. think how much this will contribute to the coffers of its manufacturers Roche and Ranbaxy?

my 2 sen's worth.

maybe i should have titled this post : have we become a kiasi nation?
(kiasi = afraid to die)

Saturday, August 08, 2009

laughter is good medicine

this pleasant middle-aged gentleman was in OT to have surgery on his amputated leg which had developed an abscess.

me : uncle, your father had a sense of humour when he named you

patient (with a smile) : yes, but what's the use? with 1 leg, i can't even walk, so, how to fly?

looks like a sense of humour runs in his family. his name?

or, you could read it as SUPERMAN, I AM.

Friday, August 07, 2009

the spoon

A lesson on how consultants can make a difference in an organization (or, why we should let things be)

Last week, we took some friends to a new restaurant, 'Steve's Place,'
and noticed that the waiter who took our order carried a spoon in his shirt pocket.
It seemed a little strange. When the busboy brought our water and utensils, I observed that he also had a spoon in his shirt pocket. Then I looked around and saw that all the staff had spoons in their pockets. When the waiter came back to serve our soup I inquired, 'Why the spoon?'

'Well, 'he explained, 'the restaurant's owner hired Andersen Consulting to revamp all of our processes. After several months of analysis, they concluded that the spoon was the most frequently dropped utensil. It represents a drop frequency of approximately 3 spoons per table per hour.

If our personnel are better prepared, we can reduce the number of trips back to the kitchen and save 15 man-hours per shift.'
As luck would have it, I dropped my spoon and he replaced it with his spare. 'I'll get another spoon next time I go to the kitchen instead of making an extra trip to get it right now.' I was impressed. I also noticed that there was a string hanging out of the waiter's fly.

Looking around, I saw that all of the waiters had the same string hanging from their flies. So, before he walked off, I asked the waiter, 'Excuse me, but can you tell me why you have that string right there?'

'Oh, certainly!' Then he lowered his voice. 'Not everyone is so observant. That consulting firm I mentioned learned that we can save time in the restroom.

By tying this string to the tip of our you-know-what, we can pull it out
without touching it and eliminate the need to wash our hands, shortening the time spent in the restroom by 76.39%.

I asked quietly, 'After you get it out, how do you put it back?'

'Well,' he whispered, 'I don't know about the others, but I use the spoon

**thanks, YO, for the email**

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Why men are happier


Men Are Just Happier People --

What do you expect from such simple creatures? Your last name stays put.
The garage is all yours.
Wedding plans take care of themselves.
Chocolate is just another snack.
You can be President..
You can never be pregnant.
You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park.
You can wear NO shirt to a water park.
Car mechanics tell you the truth.
The world is your urinal.
You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky.
You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt.
Same work, more pay.
Wrinkles add character.
Wedding dress $5000.
Tux rental-$100.
People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them.
New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet.
One mood all the time.

Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.... You know stuff about tanks. A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase. You can open all your own jars. You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness. If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend.

Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack. Three pairs of shoes are more than enough. You almost never have strap problems in public. You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes. Everything on your face stays its original color. The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades. You only have to shave your face and neck.

You can play with toys all your life. One wallet and one pair of shoes -- one color for all seasons... You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look. You can 'do' your nails with a pocket knife. You have freedom of choice concerning growing a moustache.

You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25 minutes.

No wonder men are happier..

Have a good weekend ahead. 

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

blast away!

what do cyclops, capt kirk, & ultraman have in common?

yeah, they blasted their enemies with laser. when we were kids, it was a cool to possess such powers & these fictional characters were hero-worshipped week in & week out with our patronage in front of the TV.

well, lasers have come a long way since & their role these days are more beneficial than destructive. remember LASIK? now, it's even used to blast kidney stones & resect prostates.
the flavour of the month seems to be green-light laser..

the machine generating the laser is on the left while the patient(all draped up) is on the right...

because of the intense brightness, special protective glasses need to be worn during its use....

...even for the patient.

the claimed advantage for laser in prostate surgery is less incidence of complications, eg.bleeding, urinary retention, impotence, & a shorter hospital stay. the cost, however, is a different matter altogether.

i wonder if kids will rate laser any less, now that it's mostly used to heal rather than destroy.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

light at the end of the tunnel

life really boils down to just 2 questions:

1) should i get a dog?

or, 2) should i have children?

no matter how long & treacherous your journey may seem....

no matter what situations life throws at you....

remember, there's always a light at the end of the tunnel!