This was not what we had in mind

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The absence of a post here is due to quite a couple of reasons. Procrastination as always plays its part, laziness too, amongst other stuff. But I shall pour what’s mainly on my mind out here today. Gramps was admitted to the hospital recently.

See, this time isn’t like the others. What started out from an unusually low sodium count during a check-up turned into a quick ripple effect that we’re still trying to put our minds to.

I have religiously brought him to every one of his check-ups/doctor’s appointments (till I started work.) Couldn’t they have smelt this? In a “two hands to clap” type of situation, he’s been stubborn, and always refusing to go for further scans and checks, against the doctor’s advice.

If Mohammed doesn’t go to the mountain, the mountain knocks on his door and says “what’s up?”

He went for his routine scheduled check-up at the hospital, and findings of his abnormally low sodium count had him immediately admitted. It all seems to be going downhill from there, oxygen levels fluctuating. And due to low sodium in the body, he seemed tired all the time. The first few days there saw him sleeping most of the time.

Now by then doctor’s ordered a CT scan to be done. And him being very much stubborn, it was tough getting him to agree to go for that. When he finally did, he thought it was all over and he could go home, but CT scans revealed a much larger horror. A tumour located in his lung, a big one, and it was spreading. Fast.

This explains why he’s slowly losing use of his right hand. In my heart, he’s one of the greatest artists in the world, and he can’t draw anymore. But that probably is the least of the problems. Now, following the scan, a biopsy was scheduled. And the long wait continued. I probably should mention the level of efficiency the local government hospitals have, to sum it up, if it is not deemed as something that has “hit. the. fan”, they will not make haste. It is almost as if its a mantra etched throughout the hospital. Ok this is just me being sore about it.

Now I missed out a vital piece of the story here. Doctors diagnosed him with cancer, one at a stage that has already surpassed the 4th. It was tough to swallow at first, but acceptance plays its part, for some sooner than others, and some still in their phase of denial. The decision to not let gramps know at first was a tough one to make. What was even tougher, was having to see him everyday being optimistic that he will be able to go home the next.

Biopsy a week later confirmed the disease. But at his age, any move done to fight the disease comes with major risk. Right now, the game plan would be to just suppress the symptoms and relieve pain. In short “we’re waiting it out.” Sissy teared up while visiting him then. Now i’ve always made myself the promise to break whoever’s legs if they’d ever break her heart and made her cry. Never would I have thought it’ll be in such a situation which I’ll catch her shedding a tear. Probably will have to make some amendments to the promise already then.

When the time came to finally break the news to him, it took two days, for him to hear it. When the doctors first broke the news to him. He didn’t want to have it, and started getting really agitated. Granted that, I would have too if I were in his shoes. “How is it that with such advanced medical technologies, the doctors can’t cure me” he says. Yeah i’ll give him that point.

A week ago, he started wheezing. As in a squeaking noise coming out from his throat. Now I have to add that he was being fed the whole time via a nose tube. Because of some thrombosis rubbish that makes it difficult for him to swallow anything (yes, that bitch of a tumour has spread all over.) Wasn’t till the next day we realised that the tumour has started to press on his windpipe, making it tougher to breathe. That has been persisting till now, which we all are still continually worried about. Because, if that shit presses even more and blocks off the windpipe.. well yeah that just ain’t good. Most of the time now, its drip feeding.

Relatives and friends were nice enough to pop by the past few weeks. I still think he is still mentally fighting the fact this is all happening. I can imagine the fear, the sadness, the hate of looking at the same ceiling, the sound of beeping medical equipment, coughs and screams of the neighbouring patients and the barred windows. And the fact that no one can properly understand what you say because of the stupid assed condition.

Are we fighting a losing fight? Are we even fighting at all?

I’ll still visit him everyday. Be it a few hours or minutes.

I do hope he presses on.

“Cancer is beautiful because it gives loved ones time to prepare”

Fuck you cancer.

End 2015, Resolutions 2016

The end of the year draws nearer yet again, and we’re all plastered with the thoughts of what’s to come in the next.

I have barely hit half of my resolutions made last year, but I also managed to complete/achieve some things I never thought I would in the past year. Check out my “year in review” here!

As always, let’s go, resolutions 2016:

  • Organisation, time, response

Moleskine 2016

A new year, new Moleskine. Planning to fully utilise it more in getting my mess together. Time management too. Looking forward. “Now” will be the key word.

  • Exercise

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Yes. Resolutions.

  • Take more photos

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I did not get to complete a proper photo project yet again the last year, though it was awesome to be able to dive deeper into film/toy camera photography. Still hunting for that FM2~

This year, I’m still aiming to make better use of the current gear I have, and perhaps a little more additions? hehe.

  • Record a raw EP

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This seemed to be a downer the last year, with hours placed into recording a track, and then having that track shot down. Either ways, for 2016, at least a raw/acoustic EP. How bout that?

  • Be more driven

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Drive is what sets people apart from each other. Spreading targets too thin flattens drive out. Will be looking at focusing on a few more important stuff in 2016.

  • Manage my finances better

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Yes, this has indeed been an issue for awhile. Going to be trying out new finance management stuff this year. Too many wants, too little money.

  • Be better at my job

This involves watching more startup related vids and read more books on the matter.

  • Be more thankful/grateful

I think EVERYONE falls short on this. Learn, be happy, improve.

  • Blog more

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And of course, If i’m going to have to continue dishing money to keep this blog afloat. I might as well do so in a more regular fashion.

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These are my resolutions for 2016. What’s yours?

2015 Year in Review

2015 was an interesting year. Quite some interesting learning points this year, and a few milestones were hit this year. So let’s look back at the hell of a 2015, here is the annual Year in Review.

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Early 2015 saw the arrival of a new addition to the family fleet!

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Pop’s new Paceman, nicknamed “Sally the Great Blue Whale”

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Chinese new year, the usual affair.

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I managed to get up close to a couple of awesome rides this year too. Didn’t exactly get to test them out :/. Perhaps sometime else.

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Continually being an annoyance to everyone. Here’s me with Clarence who had not enough sleep the last night, I was reading to him a thesis on dark matter and black holes. Kudos though, he tried to keep up. Tried.

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Bentley pop-up with the awesome continental GT3. Glad I got to see it in person. Lot’s of tales of how it’s been a beast on track.

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Cody’s been quite the hassle on the pocket this year for Jean. Yikes. :/

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Art and craft project on tyres~

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Meeting up with friend’s overseas. Which was fun! We’re coming back soon P!

Amongst other short trips around the region.

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Batam proved to be interesting in the midst of boring-ness, such as jamming out with the Balados band.

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Seoul proved to be a rather fun one too!

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And of course, not to mention these guys. You’ve made an impression on me, It was tall order for me and I know you guys have the best intentions. It was a tough decision. Thanks for still keeping me in mind constantly. Fly Safe, always.

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Then there was the time where Kamei bit Jean and I had to bring her to the A&E, spending 6 hours there. Yep. Well they’re still friends. (I think).

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It was my first time on a cruise, we embarked on a boat to nowhere on the Superstar Gemini. IMG_1826

I have to admit, I was rather impressed by the sheer size of the thing. Jean tells me that its the smallest in their fleet. Whut.

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I joined the awesome team at Tech in Asia. Taking on the Community Manager role, which has been a massive learning experience so far. Not to mention having the best colleagues you can find, especially some that would go out of their way to help you. Drinks/poker/music night at the office makes it all a little more awesome.

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Remember the elections this year? First time voting hooo~

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And yay! I graduated this year! Now I’m pretty sure I have a graduation blogpost draft hidden somewhere. Why didn’t I publish that again? Hmm. Oh yeah, procrastination.

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I had the lovely office people celebrate my birthday with me this year. IMG_3051

It really means alot, thank you guys!

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We didn’t get to stretch the racing gloves much this year, karting is just getting a little too pricey. Looks like the goal to get faster has to wait again.

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And my first time joining the legion of ‘brothers’ with Hweemin & Jeremy’s wedding was a rather interesting one. Happy wishes to the newly wed couple!

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Christmas parties helps to round off the year!

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With the never ending work still pestering the days away, we jump into the whirlwind of what 2016 has to offer. “It’s not a good year (for the monkey)” says the fortune telling mystics, “Winter is coming”, says the economical analysts.

Bring it on. Brace yourselves. Let’s kick ass in 2016.

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Photowalk – Superheadz: Korea 2015

The elusive Nikon FM2 is still not within my reach. But as far as film goes, the trusty Superheadz that Dexter gave me seems like a winner. It is still amazing what toy camera’s can do.

Earlier in the year we travelled to South Korea, yes, again. And instead of lugging the heavy D7000 along, I decided that the trip should just be done on my toy camera.

So here, as always, a photowalk of Seoul, taken with the 35mm toy camera goodness.

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Why did it take so long? I just didn’t get round to having them developed. Perhaps I should try developing them myself.

Stay tuned for the next photowalk!

Oh, and see the rest of the Superheadz shots here!

Stay chill all~

132 Meepok

Upon finding out that I can’t resist a good bowl of Meepok noodles, Jason has been telling me about how awesome 132 Meepok is.

Now the only problem is, the last time he ate it was almost a decade ago. But nevertheless, the fact that the store has a website, meant that it must be pretty good.

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Both of us headed down on a Saturday afternoon to find some Meepok goodness.

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A little back story on 132, just click the picture to read more!

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We went for the $3.50 bowl. The portion was much smaller than I had expected. The noodles, much to Jason’s disappointment, wasn’t as springy as the last time he tried it. The noodle fell toward a dry texture but the chilli, vinegar and lard mix proved to be a winner.

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The portions of fishball, meat and fish dumplings were just right with the amount of noodle. The soup though, was a tad bit on the salty side.

Good? Yes. Worth the travel time there though? that’s something to ponder about.

And the hunt continues.

132 Meepok
Blk 59 Marine Terrace
www.132meepok.com.sg

Don’t have kids

“Don’t have kids, or better yet, don’t get married.”

My mum says this to me from time to time. And who could blame her? Both sissy and I have been nothing but troublemakers. The amount of money they had to spend on us, the piano lessons we give up, the endless hours of tuition which didn’t help our grades at all, and the stress when the teachers had to call them in the evenings about unfinished homework, truancy and more. I could list more, but ask me over a cold pint on a hot saturday afternoon ok? Your treat of course 😉 And they worry now about my drinking vices. Whoops.

Mom and mei circa 2003

A google search for the cost of raising a kid in Singapore blows minds. Pointing to a mind boggling $1 million! See, in foreign countries, the kid’s are booted out the door to fend for themselves at 17. Here, we’d probably stay with our parents till we get.. Married.
Imagine having 3 kids now. Not taking into account the process of childbearing and endless sleepless nights that come right after that. The monetary implications are just too insane. You could buy a house, a freaking nice one at that, or split the money and buy a FEW houses.

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On the flipside though, proud parents do say that having a kid does teach them more about responsibilities and to be better people in life. And that the costs involved are worth it.

Prices for everything though are rising. Milk powder, baby care products, childcare services, education, COST OF LIVING. I used to be one that wants to have lots of kids in the future. But now though, the reality frightens me, and what my mother says makes clearer sense.

In Singapore, its growing increasingly tough to even consider having a kid. Less getting married. But hey, thats just my opinion.. Whats yours?

Breakfast Club: San Yuan Fishball Noodle

It has been a long time since I blogged about food. The last time I had a foodie styled segment on Betterdanthis was the Supper Challenge. Most readers enjoyed it and well, I did too. We might breathe some life into that, but perhaps that for another time.

Ever since I began working, again, the office being at bugis street, my colleague Hong Wei has been relentlessly getting me to have breakfast with him in the morning(I usually eat at home before heading out to work). After a few weeks, I gave in. And am now firmly part of what we call the Breakfast Club (haha). Its pretty exclusive though, its for those who reach the office early.

With that lets try begin a segment, where we’d really just hunt for breakfast around the area and.. eat.. breakfast.

The morning’s hunt brought us to Albert Market. Just right behind Bugis street. With the craving for Mee Pok, we picked this store, “San Yuan Fishball noodle”. 01-73

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Hong wei ordered a $2 fishball noodle, and I, minced meat noodle that set me back $3. Not too shabby pricing i’d have to say.

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Gobbling down his fishball noodle in record timing, Hong Wei comments on the oily feel of the noodles. Though he was thoroughly pleased with the generous serving of the fishballs, worth it, for $2.

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I had to pay an extra dollar! But hey, mine came with fish crackers, lots of minced meat, and a slice of teeeer gua (pork liver). To be fair, the noodles didn’t fair too badly, given its rigid texture. The vinegar taste did not overwhelm and the fact that I did not mix it well meant strong oniony tastes nearing the end. The meat tasted normal at best, and the soup provided mild satisfaction.

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Overall, price is the winning factor here. It ain’t all that fantastic, but for the price you’re paying, there’s not much to complain about.

The question is though, will we ever come back?

New look!

If you’ve been reading Betterdanthis.com since its inception, you would have noticed the dreary old template that has not been changed since then!

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And finally, I got to sourcing for a sweet template/theme, and bought it! Do hope you’ll enjoy your stay on the blog a little more now. I’d dare say it is more pleasing to the eye(lol).

Either way, i’ll be making more minute changes to the blog in the coming weeks! Hopefully it’ll be easier to navigate, read, and whatever else people read betterdanthis for.

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So stay tuned for more updated stuff. Meanwhile, as always, stay awesome you.

Transportation. Public. Public Transportation.

It comes as no secret I have a fond love and admiration for cars. Much appreciation to Karl Benz for inventing the first one. Who’d knew if he stole the idea or something but heck, if he didn’t, could you imagine what life would be now? 

I’d be all “eh i’m gonna go out and start the horse and get ready to gallop to the malls.” And convoy’s would be like, “our red horse Ferrari’s damn good la. Bo bei zao ahhhh.” Well you get the idea. 

  
(Photo Source: Mothership SG) (lol must credit later kena sue)

Cars are the best! Why are they not? They’re comfortable, respond to your input when you pilot them. They get you from point A to point B convenient and efficiently. 

  
I have always been one who’d drive everywhere. Even if it was nearby just to get chips from the nearby store. 

But as I embark on a new job, this habit of mine has to sadly be left behind. You see, the office of my workplace is situated in bugis. Thats right at the edge of the CBD town center, but not quite. If i drive. I’d be subjected to ERP’s as well as crazy parking rates. That’s $25 a day just to drive. That’s nuts. 

So public transport it is for the commute to work! The immense feeling of swa-ku-ness (mountain tortoise) being back in a bus/train. The crowds. The standing. The squeezing. The grumpy office drones in the morning. 

 
See. All these peeps were waiting for the same bus i’m getting on. 

  
 
Its pretty tough to find a seat in the mornings. That being said though. Its not too bad once you get the hang of it. I generally avoid trains in the morning now. They’re insanely packed. I quote my mom “the train station exits at peak hour are like salmon spawning.” Its no wonder the high breakdown rates! But that for a future post perhaps. 

Thankfully there’s a bus service that takes me straight from a bus stop near my place to work. 

Oh! Have I showed you my very most patriotic EZ-Link card yet?

  
SG50 yo. lah! 

It takes a 10 mins walk to the bus stop. Wait for the bus. A 45 mins journey, then another 10 mins walk to the office after. 

Here’s one thing that I begun to enjoy during the commute to work. Having my favourite tunes in my ear, not worrying about blindspots, trying to change lanes and cyclists. 

With that time, i’m able to surf, tweet, insta, fb, errthang! This post is typed out whilst in the bus! Though the erratic braking the bus uncle is doing makes me feel a wee bit like puking. 

  
Before I end the post though, I have a make a note. I used to really hate it, but now, I LOVE BUS LANES. They’re a real lifesaver. 

So now Summer sits at home looking all pretty in the driveway. And the only time i drive her is at night after work or on weekends (which I very much look forward to getting back into the drivers seat.) 

  
But hey. Public transport isn’t all too bad. Though yes the bumpy bus, the crowds, but you have that extra time while travelling to fiddle around with your phone (can’t do that while driving, the TP snipers are everywhere now!) A look at the busy world going around outside through the huge panes of glass. And the occasional nice people on the bus that gives up their seat to an elder (super cliche I know). No constant urge to overtake the slowpoke in front of you. No frustating blasts of the horn, and no combo of vulgarities when someone cuts you off. 

  
All in all. Its not too bad. Cars imo are still the best. But yeah, public transport’s pretty great too. 

Jul-Aug Update

Yes, i have not been posting for the past weeks. That I am pretty much aware of. Have been busy, the good kind I might add.

Recently got a job at an awesome tech startup. Lovely people and fun culture makes tough tasks great. More on that in the future I guess~

Either way, here’s a short update on whats been happening recently. I seriously have got to be more “on the ball” with my postings huh. Also have been neglecting GGR. So we’d try upload something soon too! Do stay tuned for that!

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Granny got a pretty huge operation done recently, there was a cyst in her liver, which might have been cancerous. So the best option was to get that out ASAP. Op went successful, and all is well with the world now 🙂

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Left town over the national day weekend for a quick cruise. My first time on such a massive ship! (Jean says that its the smallest of the star cruise fleet though.) Either way I had fun, pretty relaxing and chill, also the awesome food offered at the buffet line. Yum.

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Oh! and Jean won herself some dough playing bingo. 3 rounds of which for me had be going home with nothing. Poop.

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Dad test drove the Porsche Macan (its pronounced Ma-Chan). Which I pretty much enjoyed. Though i’d probably have a better impression if they allowed me behind the wheel. Darn the new insurance clauses. I did however find this dude chilling in the backseat of a Porsche 911 in the showroom.

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And we caught Echosmith live!

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Sab was lucky enough to have her hand grabbed by sydney when she came over. As you can see in this picture, everyone swarmed towards her, which left me in the center of the outstretched celebrity wanting hands.

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All in all it was a pretty good show.

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Not a too long update. But I promise more posts ok! Once I find free time!

Stay Awesome all!