Passionate About Life | Escapades

Sunday, June 04, 2006

+ Life | Free Phone

Sony Erricson Z520i Quad Band MP3 Camera Phone
On the 27th May 2006 marked my 1 year phone plan with M1 telco.

I received a letter from M1 for my "loyal support, we're offering you a free phone."

I get to choose either a Philips S800, a Sony Erricson Z520i or a Motorola SLVR L6 when extending a two year subscription with M1.

On top of that, they will reduce the monthly phone bill by S$11.62 for a year, irregardless whether the 2-year plan is taken up or not.

The offer will be until 18 June 2006.

After my Sunday workout at the Tampines Swimming Complex, while my son had his swimming fun, we headed to Tampines Mall for Chicken Rice dinner.

Then headed to Century Square 3rd floor for M1 Shop.

Motorola SLVR L6 Camera Phone
The place was packed with people in a long queue, expectedly so since there are other eligible customers like me and further more, it the start of the month... every body's pockets are "loaded" with cash.

I gave up queuing after 10 minutes since the line did not seem to move forward fast enough. Fortunately for me, I asked one of the attending M1 staff about my offer.

He told me to check for availability before queuing at any branch, and even recommended me to call M1 1627 hotline to check availability at other branches, so I would have to waste a trip.

On our way to Challenger IT Superstore at DBS Building, I called the hotline.

What a shock for me to find out that all M1 branches across Singapore has the Z520i cell phone out of stock. They are waiting for the suppliers to confirm a restock date but have no firm date yet.

I have to keep calling after a few days to check on the status.

Philips S800 MP3 Camera Phone
Wow again! I have learnt that cell phones are a hot, cannot-do-without item that is already a very part of a Singaporean life. What more if it is offered free.

After loosing out on Nokia's N750 half-priced offer from Metro last week, I lost on this one too. Though there is still hope for the latter, chances are slim.

Wonder if I have to camp out all night like the Singapore Idol contestant to get a hold of what I want... nah... not that desperate.

At worst I will just settle for the Motorola... if it is still available. Well, life goes on.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

+ Life | National Online

Old Parliament Building | National Monument
No, nothing serious or political about this entry at all.

I received a letter from the Ministry of Manpower or MOM to take part in the national Labour Force Survey being conducted from 21st to 31st May 2006.

My household has been selected to participate.

The survey "seeks to obtain key national statistics on employment and unemployment to help in the formulation of manpower-related policies."

Ministry Of ManpowerDid not see a clause if I could turn down the offer to participate, but has "under the Statistic Act (Chapter 317) which requires you to furnish the necessary information."

Well, what the heck, its for nation's well being right?

I logged onto MOM's website to participate online with the given Household ID and Password.

In about 15 minutes, all was done and I submitted the survey.

I then received an email alert from a friend. "This, just in! National Day Parade 2006 tickets are up for grabs through "e-Ballot!"

Wow, never had that early a chance to ballot for tickets before. Never have we actually attended the NDP live before either. This is a great opportunity to attend instead of watching it on TV.

So, I logged onto to Singapore NDP website to ballot for tickets.

With either to ballot for Preview on 29th July 2006, or on National Day on 9th August 2006 itself, I bid for the preview, since it is on Saturday with Sunday to rest.

Singapore National Day Parade 2006Our National Day is on Wednesday, so not a good idea for me to go to work the next day. I might as well enjoy the day with a family outing instead.

The bid has options to either select 2, 4 or 6 tickets. I chose the last one, thinking maybe my parents would like to attend too.

They deserve to celebrate with the nation since they have been contributing to it for the past 80 years or so.

Maybe they may even make newspaper headlines for being the oldest couple to attend NDP celebrations!

Sounds wonderful, the planning is great, but only if we get the free tickets.

All successful bidders will be notified via SMS between 13th and 16th June 2006 to collect them. Hope is high.

The fact that it will be memorable for me personally as this will be the first time for all of us, and especially with my parents... Just awesome.

The fact that I can get to see their reactions to this mammoth patriotic annual celebration... Priceless!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

+ Life | Rat Trap

Mouse Trap
Now this is something I questioned myself before, but I did not give myself an answer. Instead, I just think I should not do it at all.

Like on normal days at work, a group of us would go to the canteen to have our breakfast. A friend spotted a rat in the middle of the car park.

It was like in a daze, falling sideways as it tried to move into the bushes. Apparently, it must have been poisoned.

I thought nothing of it. We took our breakfast, talked and joked a little and headed back to the office once we had finished.

On the way, I saw 2 metal-wired rat trap cages at the dumping area. In each was a rat. Frantically pacing to and fro trying to get out of the cage. The baits ware still hanging in the cages.

Rats  Endangering human healthNow, this is my dilemma... Rats are bad for human health. They are pests and bring diseases, while they irritate you and scare most women.

Now, rat population has to be controlled to not infest our homes and properties, so we kill rats by setting up traps and poison them. Alright...

Once you catch them, how do you "put them down" humanely... if that is the most politically correct phrase for it.

The rats I saw in the cages were left outside in the hot sun to die. It is the worst death sentence possible, I think. To torture them to exhaustion, dehydrate them slowly until they die.

That is the most slowest and most painful of a killing method I can possible think of. Maybe it is just me, but it seems too cruel for me.

I know I will not give a second thought when I have to crush a cockroach, but it has to die immediately, with the least amount of pain possible.

I could not bare to look at the panting rats further and walked away. My lady friend squirmed in fright and walked quickly away.

I just had to ask my the group what was the best, humanely possible way to kill a rat once caught.

Rats  Humane Killing Method?
One said to knock its head or bashed it to death, and other said to drown it in water, one even said his mother poured boiling water over it. Wow!

I have heard of these methods before. When I was a child, I had seen one "death by drowning" case by a neighbour too, which I could not bare to watch then either.

I am not the one to trap any, so I leave it the pest-busters if necessary. Hope I do not have an infestation of such in my home. I am putting too much thought in this, nonetheless, I need to ask.

So, is poisoning them the best way?

Or is there a fastest, most humanely possible way to kill rats once you catch them?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

+ Fun | DHL Balloon

DHL Balloon Attraction at Bugis Junction
The first time I saw it at Bugis, I thought it was just another advertisement by DHL. A big one though. I was going over to Wify's shop to accompany her since my son had gone out with his friends to watch Elektra.

A yellow balloon ad flying high above Bugis Junction did not really attract my attention, and I did not give any notice at all.

I saw it again when I bought dinner for Wify from Banquet at Raffles Hospital going toward Bugis Village. I went to surprise her at the shop again that Friday. This time, I notice that the balloon was being lowered down. Ad permit ended?

As I stopped to watch, I noticed there was a platform for viewing. Thought nothing of it, but I just snapped a picture to show my son what I saw, when I get home. I realized that it was a very large balloon ad when it was nearer to the ground, but disappeared between the buildings.

And I saw it again, in the early evening with the pulsing, beacon-like blue lights since it was turning dark. It was very near to the ground that my son noticed there were people with cameras on the viewing platform. Invited guests only?

DHL Balloon Attraction at Bugis Junction
Only today, it is confirmed that the DHL Balloon is the new attraction in Bugis area, when I received an email from my friend about the promotion.

30% off coupons from the usual ticket price of S$23.00 per adult and S$16.00 for children below 12 years old. Panoramic viewing for 30 minutes in the air.

Would be interesting to go up and view the area from 150 metres high or as high as a 40 story building, with a difference - being swayed to and fro a little by the wind.

Would be great to try that with all 3 of us on board; armed with a camera and strong guts.

Wify hates heights, but she trusts me. She will take roller-coaster rides as long as I ride beside her. I think she will give it a go. This weekend is good, weather permitting of course.

DHL Balloon Attraction Discount Coupon

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

+ Life | Buried Secrets

Family secrets are best kept within the family

When I do not have anything worthy to write, I would normally turn to 3 things - check through my folders full of photos that I may write about, or blog surf to seek and maybe learn about other people's point of view, else I would be taking a Personality Test.

I have no idea why I like to stress myself by taking personality tests. Maybe I wish to "find" myself and know more about me, or maybe to convince myself that I am about as normal as the next person... maybe as weird too.

Then again, the thrill of finding out something new about yourself is overpowering.

What others may perceive you as when you are your daily self, doing your daily stuff... something shocking or something true, or something shockingly true!

Taken a Tickle Test on "What's Your Buried Secret." I am not sure, but is this website meant for women? Now that is a scary title to dive into and provoke my self-esteem, but curiosity got the best of me as always. Here it is:

Muhd Imran, you keep secrets about your Family

  • Whose family isn't a little dysfunctional?
  • Just the same, you're not gonna write the next great American novel about your family's crazy arguments and weird habits.
  • For you, family gossip is best left alone.
  • It's important to keep those dirty little secrets to yourself.
  • You've got a great respect and love for your kin, even if they don't always act the way you want them to.
  • As long as you know the truth about what's going on in your seemingly happy home, who cares what the neighbors say?
  • Sticking by each other — now that's what family's for!

Yes, I agree with the analysis. Uphold the family honour. That is me. Phew! No shocking revelation here.

Want to take your test? Click photo and answer a few questions truthfully. Good Luck.

Friday, May 05, 2006

+ Life | Birth Month

Horoscope Cancer
I received an email from a friend today about a set of characters as a person generally has depending on the month he or she was born in.

My birthday will be next month. So timely enough to tell everyone the good traits of a Cancerian and the not-so-proud-but-true stuff of me in a list...

Born In Month of JUNE

  • Thinks far with vision - do a good one to last a lifetime
  • Easily influenced by kindness - fall for it every time
  • Polite and soft-spoken - lame, I know
  • Having lots of ideas - overwhelming at times, I can't sleep
  • Sensitive - my double-edge sword
  • Active mind - always something brewing up there
  • Hesitating - aaah... that leads to the next one
  • Tends to delay - so that's why I'm always late for work
  • Choosy and always wants the best - forgive me?
  • Temperamental - I can't predict how unpredictable I am
  • Funny and humorous - my lighter side
  • Loves to joke - love to laugh
  • Good debating skills - bring it on!
  • Talkative - I babble, therefore I am
  • Daydreamer - Sorry, you were saying?
  • Friendly - you'll be my buddy by the end of this list
  • Knows how to make friends - well... not sure about this
  • Abiding - black is black, white is white!
  • Able to show character - like an open book
  • Easily hurt - like a cucumber
  • Prone to getting colds - Nope. Strong as an ox!
  • Loves to dress up - just to look my best
  • Easily bored - this list is too long!
  • Fussy - maybe I like it in blue....
  • Seldom show emotions - I cry in silence, lie like a... Nun?
  • Takes time to recover when hurt - backlogs a mile long
  • Brand conscious - totally not! Wait Sony Ericsson is good.
  • Executive - less talk, more action!
  • Stubborn - I stand by my convictions!
  • Those who love me are enemies - strange way to show I care
  • Those who hate me are friends - better a friend than an enemy

Now that you know what kind of person I am, do you still want to associate yourself with me?

I have the other 11 months' of Character Descriptions if anyone ones to know if theirs are as accurate too.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

+ Life | What Degree?

You Should Get a PhD in Science (like chemistry, math, or engineering)

You're both smart and innovative when it comes to ideas.
Maybe you'll find a cure for cancer - or develop the latest underground drug.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

+ Life | Monday Blues?

Monday Blues? Nothing to complain about!
As usual I got a cab to work today. As usual, I have the Monday blues. Nothing major, it is just me not wanting to go to work after a weekend break.

This morning, I got a white SMRT Cab... with a pleasant driver who wished me "Good Morning, Sir" as soon as I was seated.

"Sorry Sir, please tell me your route because I just started working this morning," he said apologetically.

I said sure and told him my preferred route to my workplace. Then I got to hear someone's life story. A sad story that is... an unfortunate one.

SMRT TaxiJust as we turned into Tampines Avenue 10, he continued telling me that he had not worked for the past year and today was his first day after quiting his job of 3 years as a cab driver before, to take care of his wife. She had lung cancer.

They did not know about it until she had coughs that did not seem to go away. It lasted about a month even after going to the doctors repeatedly.

They finally went to the hospital to do full body medical checkup that detected their worst nightmare. She had lung cancer at Stage 4.

Shocking to him, ever devastating to his wife who did not have any symptom she might have suspected that anything was wrong with her.

She did have a symptom when they came to think of it, but it was too mild to suspect anything was amiss.

The driver said that his wife was always complaining of an onset of numbness with her fingers of both hands. She would complain feeling it while she chopped vegetables, or while doing house chores.

She would flick her hands a while and all was fine again. The one-off feeling she felt was more of a nuisance than anything else. It would go away after a few flicks of the hands. That was that.

The doctor confirmed that, that was one of the symptoms; who is to know... laymen like us?

When diagnosed in April 2005 with Stage 4 cancer, nothing much could be done. The driver did not say anything about chemo or any treatment she had gone through, but he quit his job to take care of his wife; to and for hospital until she succumbed to the disease and passed away on 21 December 2005.

So tomorrow is her 4th-month death anniversary," the driver seemed to remind himself, with a straight face and then a long pause... quiet, except the humming of the engine.

Rainbow On The HorizonThe driver continued saying that he had lots of money spent for her hospital bills, their daily expenses and his children... Yes he has 3 boys, age 18 still studying at a Polytechnic, 16 in Secondary 4 and 10 in Primary 4.

With a concerned tone of voice, he said that his 2 eldest sons are coping well their loss - the drastic change in family life without their mother, but the last one who was very attached to his mom, is the most affected. The most emotional of the 3.

His concern is very much focused on his youngest. The youngest son would come home from school with mom to greet him, but not anymore. He is slowly adjusting, but painfully so he noticed.

The driver cannot let him manage it alone, so he intends to stop work about 1:00pm today and everyday, to reach home before his son does, to greet him instead.

This now, single parent has to check and monitor his son's school work, and provide emotional support until his son is himself again.

Both a Mom and a Dad now, with a financial left-over to live on for the 4 of them, he had some regrets that he suddenly stopped talking about...

"Wow Sir, you work is quite a distance from your home?" And then changed subject.

Truly a sad fate and a touching story that man and his family have to go through.

Now picking-up the pieces from a devastating situation, adjustments to be made on every aspect and level of their lives - by every member of the family.

All that emotional load I was let to hear in my 15 minutes ride to work, on a Monday morning.

Yeah, yeah... I felt ashamed at myself with my "Monday blues", when this guy has to endure something so devastating and still has to carry on strong for himself, for his children. Wow!

The driver wished me "Have a good day, Sir!" as I alighted.

I just answered "Thank you, you take care." Obviously still grappling with the magnitude of the matter his family has to cope with. Life goes on.

Now, how is one to know anything is wrong without being paranoid or worse, become a hypochondriac... to know or be alert to the mildest symptom, that could mean between early stage detection and irrecoverable damage... between life and death?

Maybe, an annual physical check-up is the way to go for early detection? In the meantime, taking care of one's health, food that one consumes, healthy, happy living?

And another, I guess life insurance is very important, especially for the ones you leave behind.

Most of all, trust The Almighty to protect oneself and one's family, after all the best efforts one has consistently done daily... to me, this should be the way.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

+ Life | Hair Treatments?

Hamilton's Male Pattern Hair Loss Chart
I do not know why I tried it, but I did it anyway.

After the day's work, I was packing up to leave when my "new" boss came to my desk and strike a conversation with me and my colleagues that are sitting beside me.

He mentioned about our "former" boss' email to say hello a few days ago and introducing us to Sudoku - the Japanese number game.

My new boss said that he plays the game daily from Today's free circulation newspaper. He is now into Super Sudoku - the highest level of the game.

Never tried it myself before but sounds interesting would give it a try. So a friend who had the newspaper today gave me his for me to try. He was not interested though.

Yes, so far that has nothing to do with hair problem... I am getting to it now. I know I babble a whole lot. Get to the point, Imran!!!

Sudoku Board GameAlright! Hold your horses!

Anyway, on my way home, in the bus, I read the newspaper and came across this innovative way of disseminating awareness about men's hair problem and the treatment available.

Not so much about the treatment, but more excited about the way help can get to those who need it.

You just have to type in your SMS with "GROW" together with your 6-digit postal code to 96-FIND-DR or 96-3463-37. You will then receive 5 return SMSes telling you the 3 doctors that are nearest to your home, with the option to have 3 more doctors if you choose to.

May be old news to many countries and within Singapore too, but it was HEADline news to me at the moment... pardon the pun.

DSS LogoThis ad was from Dermatological Society of Singapore called HEADstart for Male Pattern Hair Loss or MPHL treatment.

More details from the local website

Now, why did I SMS this in the first place? Two things actually...

One, curiosity.
Just for the fun of it to see what actually will take happen. I did it and it replied with 5 SMSes as stated. Cool!

Two, concern.
The reason for why I tried it in the first place. I have to admit, coming 40, my hair does seem to be thinning at the crown. My barber at Sri Nada has casually informed me that my hair is thinning around the crown region. That was last year, I believe.

Now, I begin to BELIEVE! Sigh...

Let me see... my Mom and Dad both have good set of hair even today, but my youngest brother is loosing his as we speak!

Maybe I might consider seeking early treatment to save my "lock-of-hair."

Surprising though, the first and nearest doctor which the SMS replies gave, is my own Family Doctor - Healthway Tampines. There you go!

Hair Treatment  Minoxidil Topical Lotion For MenNow I have to grapple with my "vanity conscience..."

Am I vain?
Is it wrong to BE vain?
Or am I being attacked by a "mid-life crisis."

Wait! I read recently from Ellen, from Coffee Granules that "life starts at 40."

I think my hair needs to continue living at age 40, and survive beyond that. Thank God I do not crave for flashy sports car! That will cost a bomb here.

I think I will give it a chance, a topical Minoxidil lotion, maybe?

I'll talk to my wife for her blessing and then talk to the doctor for his treatment.

Just to see how much an investment this treatment will costs; its effectiveness from individual to individual and its success rate so far. Just to get a HEADstart. That pun... intended.

Okay... I am vain, so shoot me!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

+ Life | My House

This is a drawing of a house I would like to live in. Far from it, living here in a land-scarce Singapore, a landed property is astronomically expensive and only a dream. Oh yes, that is me sun-tanning in my garden; six-pack and all. At least one can dream!

While blog-surfing, I stumbled upon this personality test with a twist at Ellen's Coffee Granules.

Draw a house and answer some questions, then the result comes out. Seems like a standard set of answers from the set of questions answered. I believe there is no analysis done to the drawing, nonethless it was fun drawing it. Like I said, one can at least dream.

The last two paragraphs are similar to that of Ellen's. Hey, it's free, its fun. Try it!

Based on your drawing and the 10 answers you gave this is a summary of your personality:

Your house tells the world that you ought to be a leader. You are good at making friends and when the joyful moment arrives, you make the most out of it.

You love your house and family. You are a gifted artist as well. Once you have a problem, you need a friend with you. Your life is always full of changes.

You are very tidy person. There's nothing wrong with that because you're pretty popular among friends. son.

You will avoid being alone and seek the company of others whenever possible. You love excitement and create it wherever you go. You see the world as it is, not as you believe it should be.

You added a flower into your drawing. The flower signifies that you long for love. It also safe to say that others don't see you as a flirt. You are self-confident and happy with your life.