Monday, June 30, 2008

My Style of Watching Soccer Tournaments

I just don't feel right keeping quiet watching the moves of the players in the soccer field until they score and then let out a loud roar of "GOAL!" I would constantly ask questions to my Brother and then irritate him as he watched on with all his concentration.

Euro 2008 ended with a little disappointment for both of us. We supported Germany since its superb performance back in World Cup 2006. The match started with the Germans pounding on the Spanish but that didn't last long. With a disappointing 1-0, Spain claimed the throne.

Back to my style of watching soccer tournaments. While most fans will be impressed by the strategies and good footwork, I tend to make fun of the players, especially on what they look like:

Fernando Torres was the hero of Spain when he scored the goal. Don't you think he looks like he's from Narnia? Sergio Ramos looked like an elf from Lord of the Rings with his headband on. Otherwise I thought he looked like Jar Jar Binks from Star Wars.

Kuranyi was sent in to substitute Klose in the second half of the match. When he entered, I thought there was going to be a rap or some kind of hiphop dance for us to savour, but of course there isn't.Schweinsteiger performed great in the Euro (except for the final match). And he has a rather rowdy look. Looks like a big bully in school. Haha.

In my opinion, soccer matches should be more fun instead of all the anger and frustrations (usually from vexed gamblers). Awaiting for South Africa 2010 World Cup!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Religious Touting in Singapore

23 June 2008

On the way back home, I took a cab. The ride was smooth and comfortable until I reached my place. After paying for ride, the taxi driver handed me a pamphlet.

Darn! Without looking at the pamphlet, I already knew it could only be a religious one. And indeed it was. It was an article distributed by The Glory Presbyterian Church for the Singapore Every Home Crusade Co. Ltd.

Singapore is a secular state. It is multiracial and multireligious. Everyone has his or her own freedom and space to practise religion. Nevertheless, I have had encountered more than a handful of religious touting incidents. I shall attempt to recall some interesting ones:

  • On one occasion, a taxi driver started a religious preaching once I boarded his taxi. He started to criticise other religions and pointed that his religion was the only true religion. My family and I were utterly annoyed but kept silent as he rattled on.
  • When I was younger, I frequently bumped into an auntie who would shove a religious pamphlet to me and then refused to let me go away.
  • Even on my first day in school at NUS, I encountered a surveyor who asked questions leading to religion and then introduced himself as a member of a religious society of the campus. Throughout the first few weeks of school, he kept calling to engage me with activities organised by the society.
  • In the train, I encountered some teenagers who were moving around the region to share about their religion. They picked up a conversation with me and then handed me pamphlets and postcards of their organisation.
  • I ever heard from a friend that there was someone at his door, telling him that he had a demon in his house when that person saw his alter.
In my view, it matters not which religion is being touted. What matters is the act of touting. I guess no one really enjoys being commercially touted, being shoved a facial treatment advert and getting your face scrutinised and commented by the sales personnels. Religious touting is also not enjoyable. Every religious buildings can have its own banners and posters spreading its message to the public, but no more than that.

The choice of religion should rest upon the hands of the individual. All religions are for the good of mankind. For world peace to be even a least bit realistic, everyone has to commit their part to accomodate religious differences...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Cycling - Moving in the Green Way

16 June 2008

Was notified by my Brother that I appeared in the newspapers. That notification kept me excited till the evening when I finally saw the article... It's really a very small appearance.

In the afternoon, went to Rivervale Plaza to purchase a bicycle. I reckoned that a bicycle would really be beneficial for me to meet up with her. Firstly, it would be a great exercise. Secondly, it would really save cost. Thirdly, I could contribute to a Greener world.

Was upsold by the shopowner to purchase a mountain bike instead. Installed in a basket for my bag, a bell and a comfortable cushion backseat. All for about S$160. The decision factor arrived after a simple Maths breakdown of how this bike could save more than I spent on it.

It was challenging to carry one person at the back, since I had never in my life done that. Often we had to alight from the bicycle when I gave up conquering the upward slopes. Still remembered how Jian Hao and I used to learn bicycle riding from Wayne and Zhi Yong after our PSLE.

Singapore is really a good location for cycling. Especially where I stay since Aljunied GRC has committed to a barrier free zone. Following the new regulations allowing foldable bicycles on board trains and buses, there would surely be a renewed interest in cycling. I could envision a scenario where I could cycle to the train station, travel to Clementi, and then cycle to NUS. This has a potential saving of more than hundreds of dollars per month! And talk about how much benefits that is to the environment.

However, more has to be done in order to get everyone to cycle in a small island. Already, there are much discontent between walking pedestrians and cyclists as well as between drivers and cyclists.

At night, found out that my Brother also had a bicycle (secretly). Haha...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Aljunied GRC Boathouse Opening cum Mass Walk @ Bedok Reservoir

15 June 2008At 8.30am, grassroots leaders and residents from Aljunied GRC gathered at the Bedok Reservoir for the Official Opening of the Boathouse. The Mass Walk proceeded thereafter.

The participants for the Dragonboat Festival donned the shirt depicting their respective constituencies. There were 3 categories for the interconstituency competition - Grassroots Organisations; Youth Executive Committees (YECs) & Constituency Sports Clubs (CSCs); Residents. We performed some warm-up and then went on board the 20-seater Dragonboats.
The Guest-of-Honour for the event was Foreign Affairs Minister Mr George Yeo. Special guests include Mayor Zainul Abidin Rasheed, Mrs Lim Hwee Hua and Mr Yeo Guat Kwang. After a speech by Mr Yeo, the guestsperformed the ceremonial brushing of the eye of the dragon boat. Mr Yeo and Mayor Zainul then boarded their respective boats and participated in the first race of the day.
The overall champion was Paya Lebar-Kovan Constituency. Despite coming last for all events, we enjoyed our Sunday morning. My Parents were present to express their support for the event as well as their son, me!

The event lasted till about noon. Met with James to discuss over his artistic talent.

In-Camp Training - A Waste of Time?

My batch of NSmen were twice lucky with the changes implemented for National Service. First, NS was trimmed from 2.5 years to 2 years. Second, we had the in-camp training (ICT) reduced from a 13-year cycle to a 10-year one.

After being operationally read for about 1.5 years, I received the SAF 100 call-up to ICT. The comfortable civilian lifestyle made me think of various reasons (excuses) to seek for deferment. However, there were none. A call made at the eve of the ICT to the NS hotline informed that I had to bring full battle order to the my reservist camp. Information from fellow ICT mate Tengda said otherwise...

Met with Bryan and Tengda at the entrance to Seletar Camp before strolling in to our Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Explosive Defence Group (CBRE DG) camp.

In the 5 days, we made new friends among our platoon. It was also totally cool to be able to see old faces when we returned back to our unit for updates. The backgrounds vary from each individual and there were much to learn from conversations with each other. For instance, there was a Medic from Defence Science Organisation. Had a great bonding session with Tengda and Bryan.

Equipment Training and Combat Fitness Test proved useful in bringing back the memories of these knowledge.

A lot of people complained that in-camp training is a complete waste of time. I bet to differ. Donning the green uniform certainly adds on some lethargy but the refresher trainings are required to ensure that Singapore would constantly have a batch of reservists soldiers ready for action if necessary. Also, the abundance of resting time in between activities should not be fret up on, since who would want to be immersed in an intensive programme anyway?

Monday, June 09, 2008

Metta Charity Walk cum Family Carnival 2008

8 June 2008

At 8am, my Aunt, Mother and I reported to the Volunteers registration booth at Metta School [32 Simei Street 1]. The Volunteer Executive, Eilynn, handed us our Tshirt and directed us to our booth.

The Metta Charity Walk cum Family Carnival is an annual event organised to raise funds for the Metta Welfare Association. The Carnival sees booths set up by various business owners and volunteers who donates all proceeds generated to charity. I had attended and volunteered for the previous year. This year, I brought along my family and had fun doing our part for charity.

Since we were early, we browsed the Happy Arts Deli cafe for breakfast. The cafe features vegetarian delicacies.
When the boxes arrived for our booth, we began unpacking the Lavender products from the Gift Cottage. I watched along as Mother and Aunt discussed over what was the best layout for the booth. A great opportunity for the two adults to immerse themselves with hands-on training for entrepreneurship.
The Guest-of-Honour for the event was Ms Jessica Tan Soon Neo (MP for East Coast GRC). After flagging off the Charity Walk, she went from booth to booth to interact with the volunteers as well as the business owners. Through a short conversation, I thought she was a very warm and friendly person.
Initially, we were quite worried since our booth drew little crowd and very few were really interested in such high-end products. I penned down some sales pitch and pasted around the more unique products. Gradually, sales began to pour in. We are proud of ourselves for pulling in more than $1,000 by the end of the day.
After the carnival, I rushed off to Dragon Boat training in preparation for the coming competition that is going to take place at Bedok Reservoir.

Finally, had a dinner with Bao Hui and her family at the Pu Tien Restaurant. Fabulous food.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Getting the Juice of Creativity to Spill

Had lunch with Ong at his residence. It had been a long time since we met.

The best way to unleash the creativity juice is to really step out of the usual environment and to engage in a meaningful and constructive conversation. Recall when you had a conversation with someone and you just built an idea on top of an idea smoothly. Yes! That's the feeling I'm talking about.

Ideas spurned out as we chatted. Grooved and ready for a whole new series of adventure...