Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Still learning

Seeing more of eldest these days as she spend most of her time at home studying before the 'A' begins in Nov. In one of the mum and daugther chat she told me that most of her friends envy her. At 17 and 18, many of her girlfriends do get serious dressing down, nagging or worst still caning when their exam results are not up to expectation. I beg to differ. At 17, eldest is as tall if not taller than me. I can see and I know how much effort she puts into her studies. She spent most of her time at home since her CCA came to a halt. Her only de-stressing pastime is watching her favourite taiwanese serials for an hour or two. She tries her best, and I believe that words of encouragements and comfort are far more effective.
Son will be sitting for his 'O' level this Nov too. Was very harsh on him as I felt he was not focused. Then, it dawn on me. He is trying his best in school. From the time he leaves home at 6.30am till 4pm when he returns, too exhausted to expect him to sit and study. He too needs time to destress. Last thing he needs is a nagging mum. Every child is unique in their ablities, capabilities and character. Every professional has a basic degree of sort but there's none for being a good parent. I am learning every day.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Singapore Formula 1

When I heard that The First F1 night race to be held here in Singapore, it did not register any excitement. The game of the rich and famous.
However, last night, children and I tuned into the live telecast of the race, we had a good time watching the toy like F1 zzzzzzzzzooming around the circuit. More when watching the rest of the behind the scene team work in flurry to change the tyres and refuel in 4 to 6 seconds flat. The most exciting must have been, when the Ferrari driven by Massa sped off then realised the fuel nozzle still intact. Losing precious seconds which cause him to drop from 1st placing to 13th. Alonso, due to technical problem on this Renault during the placing round on saturday, caused his F1 to stop dead on the track, putting him in the 15th placing. He was deflated "The race is lost. You can't overtake here and I'm starting from 15th. so I wil be going out just to lap the track, but it's over already" quoted from him after his race on saturday. Sometimes, a little miracle and little luck changes one's fortune. Unfortunate crash by his teamate, the costly mistake by Massa, confusion and confidence shaken, Alonso sped into 1st position from lap 33 and all the way to the final 61st lap!!!
A lesson for us all. Never say die always say try.
Yes, it's an exciting race.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Giving Blood

The first time I donated was 20 years ago. Last saturday was the 2nd time . Painless and for a good cause. Took youngest with me so that she would be expose to the many ways of giving. Charity comes in many forms. Some donate money. Others, their boundless energy, time, skill and knowledge.
Much has changed since the my first experience. 40 odd questions plus 6 more supplementary questions on the recent outbreak of Chikungunya, Density and pressure checked, I was ready. The equipments used were mostly all disposable. In less then 10 minutes, the pouch was filled. Youngest was squirmished but I reassured her it was painless. She got to keep the pressure ball.

Monday, September 22, 2008

All things NiuNai

Suddenly it dawn on many. All diary product, including biscuits(using butter, milk powder) and chocolates and confectioneries made in factories located in China have a great possiblity of being tainted with the melamine toxic. This includes popular brand hershey, that fills nearly half the shelves in the chocolate and confectionery section with Mars bar, M&Ms, Kisses, Kitkats..........
In Singapore. the advise here is, read the label. If it's from China, refrain from consuming. Avoid cheap food stuff.

Maybe now my children will understand. I have always been against them eating snacks and sweets from unknown brand. It's not being petty but it's the additives especially colouring and flavoring that I don't trust. Now even brands such as Nabiscos, hersheys, Mentos by Perfetti Van Melle are questionable.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Crumbling wall

Dear Main Street: A Letter of Explanation From Wall Street
Posted by WSJ Deal Journal

Dear Main Street,
Are you trying to make sense of what’s happening here on Wall Street?
Don’t worry–you aren’t alone. A lot of people even here are trying to figure that out. It isn’t that complicated, but Wall Street is so full of mumbo jumbo that it’s easy to get confused–or bored.
Say “collateralized mortgage obligation” a dozen times and see if you can stay awake.
Stick with me, though, Main Street and I’ll explain what’s going on here in New York.
Believe it or not, you’ve seen this movie before. And I don’t mean, “It’s A Wonderful Life,” though that movie isn’t far from the mark.
What’s going on is a classic industry shakeout–not all that different from the shake-out of the American steel or auto industries over the past half century. Just in a much shorter time frame.In just nine months, we have gone from five big, independent Wall Street brokers to only two–Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.
The government took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the country’s largest mortgage companies, a bit more than a week ago.
And just Tuesday, we nationalized AIG, the world’s largest insurer.
Of course, consolidation inevitably produces winners and losers. Lehman Brothers, the fourth largest US broker, is a loser. It went bankrupt two days ago.
Bank of America is a winner. It bought brokerage Merrill Lynch three days ago and is now our nation’s largest financial institution.
That’s a lot of change in a not a lot of time.
And when there’s change, there’s uncertainty. Today, for example, we still don’t know whether Washington Mutual, the largest U.S. savings & loan, will stay independent.
Uncertainty isn’t good for any business, as it destroys confidence. It is especially bad for our financial system, because the system runs entirely on confidence. I lend you money confident that you will pay me back. If I don’t have confidence in you, I won’t lend.
Which is just like Wall Street today. Our nation’s financial institutions don’t really trust each other. And for good reason.
In all, about $2 trillion dollars of lower quality mortgages are spread about our financial system. Many of these are now in default which threatens the banks that hold them.
And of course the lack of trust spirals. Less lending by banks to each other, less lending to Main Street’s companies and less lending to you. In the end, the money’s not there for you to get a mortgage or auto loan.
And you account for 70% of the economy. So when the money isn’t there, that’s bad for everybody. Without credit, you get a crisis–a credit crisis.
Of course, we deserve heaps and heaps of blame. Wall Street took the mortgages, sliced and diced them a hundred ways, sold and traded them. We took a nice cut along the way, blissfully oblivious to the risks.
We do have a remarkable talent for cooking up crazy get-rich schemes. Remember the Internet bubble? That was less than a decade ago.
But Main Street, you’re also to blame.
Recall the hundreds of billions in bad mortgages that are now killing Wall Street? That was money lent to you, Main Street, for homes and condos many of you could not afford.
And ironically, it is now your money that will be used to repay those dud mortgages because we on Wall Street are running out of money.
The government takeovers of AIG and Fannie and Freddie? That’s your money. J.P. Morgan’s buyout of broker Bear Stearns last March was also your money,
You might not like it. We on Wall Street may not like it. And even the politicians in Washington may not like it.
But nobody has a choice — unless you happen to have an odd yearning to live in a barter economy.
So Main Street, our crisis is unfortunately your crisis. We made the mess together and now we pay for it together.
The mergers, government takeovers and bankruptcies that will continue to sweep our financial system are a good sign. It means that we are fixing ourselves. Albeit at gunpoint.
Isn’t it strange the way our free market works? The government saves Wall Street — and you Main Street foot the bill.
My advice? Save this letter and show it next time we all embark on another stupid misadventure.
Sincerely,Wall Street

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hunger sauce

Knowing too much and yet not enough is dangerous. What were they thinking? How could they jeopardize the life of newborns to make a quick profit.
Maybe now, more will seriously consider giving the best a mother can offer. Not enriched nor fortified but just nutrious life giving milk formulated just for infant. Priceless and rare.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Spinning top

Zoom Zoom Zoom as they tear down the road then, vanish. 100, 000 spectators, some paying thousands to see split second formula F1 speeding by. What is the excitement here? The Thundering roar or the partying while waiting for the speedsters to roar by?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Pillow fights

As toddlers, when siblings have pillow fights, fight over toys and candies, they bear no grudges. In a blink they're chatting and laughing again.
As teenagers, when siblings fight over trivials, I had to step in and mediate. I have seen and read enough to realise that if left unsettled, they might grow up despising each other. When disputes erupt, I would constantly question myself. Is mediation needed? Would the situation exacerbate. Girlfriend confided that, mum favours her sister who is smarter, earning more, than her. As a result both can't stand the sight of each other. Back stabbing and bad mouthing. Sibling rivalry ensue. Worst fighting over family matters and dragging dirty linens into public.

I want my 3 children to realised that at the end of the day, when we parents are no longer around, it's siblings that will be around for each other. As we break into smaller family nucleus, they have only themselves to call upon as Family.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Laurentia Tan

Her sheer determination is an inspiration. The more I read, the more, I believe that each child is special. He or she might not be an intellectual to cure or run a financial instituition but they have other special abilities waiting to be discover. It's up to the parents to give them this opportunity, encourage and nurture.
Michael Phleps an ADHD found swimming to be an outlet for his energy. His family supported.
Jamie Oliver never liked studying but look where he is today following his passion.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Theresa Goh

Theresa Goh holds the world record for the 50m and 200m breaststroke may just do Singapore proud at the Beijing Paralympics this week.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

One week school break

It's the one week school break. Being in the midst of the 'A' level preliminary exam, eldest is on self imposed house arrest. While son, dragging his feet every morning to attend school at 9a.m. Youngest, the happiest. Just returned from 3 days of absailing, kayaking, ziplining and flying foxing. The Primary 5 Adventure Camp at Changi. First time she spent 24 hours with her friends. Eating, sleeping and communal bathing. Arrived home this afternoon, exhausted but excited. Though it has been cloudy and raining intermittently for the past few days, she came back, tanned. After unpacking and giving her a good scrub, she slept for the next 2 hours waking up for dinner, excited chatters with sister then at 9pm, slept.
Truly an exciting break this has been. For her, that is.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

BreadTalk StaleTalk

Freshly baked, creamed and a quick roll on the bed of floss and Voila!! The Delectable Floss Bun which made BreadTalk known. Now, my latest favourite from BreadTalk, Greentea redbean Loaf. Moist and sweet to just eat it on it's own, until last friday. Had bought a loaf and upon reaching home had one slice for tea. Startled. Slightly dry not as fresh and moist of a newly baked loaf. Bread crumbs dotted my table as I bite into my bread. Daughter came home later, had a slice. One bite, and her conclusion was the same. Dissapointed. Had to quickly polish off the whole loaf before the weekend was over.