Friday, May 21, 2010

Leaving on a jet plane.

"All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go....." These lyrics from an old song by Peter, Paul and Mary "Leaving on a jet plane" keeps repeating in my mind these last two days. My bags are however not packed as of now. Today have been a really busy day clearing my work before the trip. This means taking in more dog grooming appointments by the regulars. The empty luggage bag is lying on the ground waiting to be filled. I do have a printed list though of the things to pack. We are flying China Eastern Airline tomorrow 4pm departure time.

Picked up some RMB (Chinese Yuan) at People's Park Complex on the way to dinner at Smith Street China Town Complex Food Centre. Dinner cost us below $40.00 for the four of us - Steamed Fish Head in Bean Sauce, stir fried Sambal (Spicy) Sweet Potato Leaves, Sweet and Sour Pork Cutlet and Omelet. Value for money. I ordered Sour Sup Fruit Drink from the nearby Fruit Drink Stall. It was so so sweet I couldn't finish it even after adding water to dilute. I think the stall holder boiled the fruit in sugar syrup.  China Town Complex Food Centre houses quite a good number of Zi Char Stall (Chinese Cooked Food Stall) and most of them offer Fish Head with different sauces on their menu. Majority of them are Cantonese cuisine.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Little Drummer Boy 3 year old Howard Wong

Wow, Unbelievable! Awesome, Wonderful, Wonder Kid, Genius, Incredible, Inspirational! Top Kid! Child Prodigy, Howard Rocks!!!

Howard Wong a three year old boy on the drum. Brilliant!!! The boy's drumming is fantastic and the expression on his face is magic! Natural, totally relax and enjoying himself.

Jam with his daddy's band 美好特质,感动

Britain's Got Talent

80 year old Janey Cutler from Glasgow audition in Britain's Got Talent singing the song "No Regrets". Judges Simon Cowell Amanda Holden and Piers Morgan. Her hand may be shaking but certainly not her voice, powerful, the right pitch and correct timing. Amazing!

Husband to give away

 Seen on Yahoo Group, SgFreecycle · Singapore Freecycle (TM) Network a recycling forum:

[Moderator Edit: Well... we DO allow pets to be given away... ]

I have had this husband since 1970 and frankly I am sick of him.
I will gladly give him away.

If you have any use, please contact me.

9487 1391

Just kidding.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tai Chi for Wellness 2010

My wife and I attended the Taichi for Wellness event 2010 at PAHQ (People's Association Headquarters) Saturday morning. The event started at 7.30am so it was an effort to wake up earlier that we are used to. Nevertheless we were really enthusiastic and excited because Dr Paul Lam the person responsible for creating the Tai Chi for Health Programs - Tai Chi for Artthritis, Tai Chi for Osteoporosis and Tai Chi for Diabites will be present to give a talk.

Around 1800 people, mostly seniors participated in the event with a mass Tai chi workout session. There were booths on Healthy Cooking, Health Food Sampling and Free Osteoporosis Risk Assessment. During the talk, PA instructors gave a demonstration of the different forms of Taichi that the TaiChi for Health programs were adapted from; namely the Chen, Yang and Sun styles which are already popular in Singapore. While Tai chi  is typified by exceedingly slow movement, some parts of the Chen and Yang styles have a faster pace. I understand that there are still other schools of Tai Chi, namely Wu, Lee, Guan Ping and Eight Diamonds.

With Dr Paul Lam
With our teacher Mr Yap Cheng Ho

Friday, May 14, 2010

Singapore opens 2 Casinos

The Singapore government gave the green light for the building of not one but two (2) casinos back in 2005. Despite the global financial crisis in 2008, construction went ahead.

The first casino, the 4.4 billion US-dollar Resorts World Sentosa built by Malaysia's Genting Group was opened for business on February 14 2010. Sales of tickets started at 11.18am. RWS includes four world class hotels, Hard Rock Hotel among them and Universal Studio.

The second casino Marina Bay Sands is a 5.5 billion US dollar complex built by US gaming giant Las Vegas Sands. It was originally set to open at the end of 2009 but faced repeated delays caused by a number of factors, including material and labour shortages and financial problems due to the global economic downturn. Marina Bay Sands opened it's doors at 3:18 pm on Tuesday 27 April 2010. Tuesday's opening includes the casino and 963 out of 2,560 hotel rooms, a portion of the shopping mall, some restaurants, an exhibition centre and the events plaza. The remaining hotel rooms and suites, a skypark and more shops will open on June 23, while a museum, theatres and other stores will start operations later in the year. The government hopes to to attract 17 million visitors a year generating over 21 billion US dollars by 2015, boosting the services sector and reducing the role of manufacturing in the economy.

Many believe that Feng Shui (Geomancy) plays an important part in the design of casinos. Notice both Casinos have chosen the number 8 which is considered auspicious for their opening the hour. The superstitious type may want to read this very interesting article "Unveiling the Secret of Casinos" in the April issue of Prosper Times, sharing insights of "Feng Shui" in Casinos

Credit: Vincent Travel Journal

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wheel Chair and Push Chair

For quite some time now I've been recommending the wheelchair for mother-in-law since her knees are not too good as well, but you know seniors can be self-conscious. There is this reluctance to be seen on a wheelchair in public. The last couple of weeks we've brought old lady out to the shopping centres and discovered that her knees are not taking it too well. This becomes an opportune time to push for that wheelchair ahead of the Shanghai trip.

Upon checking around I discovered that there are actually two type of Wheelchairs - Mobility Wheelchair with 24" wheels which is self-propelled by the occupant and is for people with walking disability and then there is the Push Wheelchair (or Push Chair). with smaller wheels which is attendant-propelled; meaning someone else have to do the pushing.

We found out that there is a charitable organisation, Kampong Senang Charity & Education Foundation  ( that lets out used wheelchair at a low cost under it's project "Wheel-of Hope" at the Mobility Aids Services & Training Centre. These wheelchairs are donations from the public. The scheme goes like this; the amount you pay (which is a fraction of the original price) is considered a donation and you get to keep the wheelchair for as long as you like.

Last Sunday we took mother-in-law to Parkway Parade Shopping Centre for a good 3 hours on the Push Wheelchair and old lady was very pleased very thankful. Mission success!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Gordon Brown calls Labour supporter a 'bigoted woman'

Today let me just sidetrack a little. British Prime Minister Gordan Brown is in deep shit for calling a Labour supporter a "bigot". He is going to loose a lot of votesBrown is History.

I must say I have never heard the word "bigot" being used among my Singaporean friends. Neither have I used it before. The word we might use which is closest in meaning that I can think of would be "Obstinate". Probably because of our limited vocabulary. Come to think about it, an ex-colleague of mine many years ago is a perfect example of a "bigot" -
obstinacy, irrationality, and animosity toward those of differing opinion. He must alway be "right". In fact I nickname people like that "Porcupine" LOL.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A bigot is a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices. The correct use of the term requires the elements of obstinacy, irrationality, and animosity toward those of differing opinion. The term is also used to refer to persons hostile to people of differing race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, religion etc.
The origin of the word bigot and bigoterie in English dates back to at least 1598, via Middle French, and started with the sense of "religious hypocrite". Forms of bigotry may have a related ideology or world views.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Osteoarthritis - Knee Pain

Never before have I planned my travel so extensively, reading up on the place, talking to people who have been there and making a "to do" list. On this trip we will be exploring treatment for wife's knee pain besides taking in the sights, trying out the local food and shopping.  My wife has Osteoarthritis of the left knee since 3 - 4 years ago. Sister-in-law have through the recommendation of her Shanghai colleague been treated for back and knee pain by a TCM (traditional chinese medicine) doctor and experienced positive results. It started with one of her Malaysian friend seeking treatment for a severe back pain during a visit. A number of her visiting friends have been treated and were very happy with the results, so now she is promoting it like a....??? : )

I am constantly searching the internet on this subject. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It causes pain, swelling and reduced motion in your joints. It can occur in any joint, but usually it affects your hands, knees, hips or spine. Many elderly persons suffer from Osteoarthritis. As one ages the cartilage in your joints start to degenerate causing your bones to rub together; this causes pain to the joint. You can spot a sufferer by the way they walk; I call it the "penguin walk" : )

My wife have consulted many doctors over the years; Family Doctor, Orthopaedic and Sports Specialist as well as Physiotherapist and TCM doctors. The usual Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS)and Pain Killers merely "hide" the symptoms by numbing the pain or reduce the swelling. They offer only temporary relief. After spending thousands of dollars on treatment she still gets a swollen knee whenever she over-exert; mostly due to our Saturday night dancing. At an advance stage when the cartilage are worn out and the disease becomes crippling, doctors usually recommend surgery.
Read this:
Study reveal Surgery for Osteoarthritis of the Knee Proved Worthless

Recently, a friend of ours mentioned about an injection to the knee to lubricate the joint which works fine for him. It's funny he calls it WD40 : ) It's called SYNVISC, viscosupplementation, an elastic and viscous substance made from hyaluronan which is found in normal joint fluid. I took her to see the doctor. It been 6 months and 3 injection later things have not changed for the better. It's another waste of time and money.

There are a number of health supplements that claim to be beneficial for the treatment of Osteoarthritis but do they work?. Results of scientific trials are inconclusive. My wife have taken tons of Glucosamine with Chondroitin and MSM the last few years but there really isn't any noticeable benefit from it. Other supplements touted to be beneficial for Osteoarthritis are Omega oil, Ginger, Turmeric, Boswella, Devil's Claw, SAM-e (short for S-adenosylmethionine) not FDA approved for medical use. What can you do but hope that by taking them somehow, something may work even if you are skeptical .

Supplements Don't Work for Osteoarthritis:

Tai chi chuan 太极拳;Tai Chi for Arthritis
Beside prescribing drugs, doctors would recommend Exercise,Weight control, Physiotherapy and rest. Cycling and Aqua exercise are highly recommended. As a matter of  fact there is a growing interest in Tai Chi for Osteoarthritis. Research from UNSW (University of New South Wales) shows that a special form of tai chi dramatically reduces pain amongst those suffering from osteoarthritis.

Dr Paul Lam, a family physician and Tai Chi practitioner developed several Tai Chi programs specifically for Arthritis, Osteoporosis and Diabetes. It is supported by Arthritis Foundation of USA and Australia, Arthritis Care of UK, Diabetes Australia and other similar organistaions, fitness associations, universities and hospitals around the world. Dr Lam have trained a number of instructors in Singapore through the invitaion of  the PA (People's Association of Singapore) in May 2008. We are attending the Tai Chi for Osteoarthritis at the Clementi Community Club, Sunday morning. Over the next two weeks Dr Lam will again be in Singapore to conduct more instructor's courses as well and giving public talks at the PA.

Follow this link to Singapore Ministry of Health website for information on this subject:

Monday, May 03, 2010

Blogger and Youtube blocked in China

Oh dear, I was just on Skype with sister-in-law and found out that Blogs and Youtube are blocked in China due to the censorship of Google. Facebook and Twitter are also in the same boat. Fortunately still able to Skpye. It's rather disappointing as I was planning on probably daily updates of the trip with picture, videos and hopefully some decent "travel journalism". Is there such a term?? I have referred to some guides on the internet on writing travel blogs; it's about conveying the experience of all our senses - Sight, Sound Smell, Taste and Feel. Well may I say I am beginning to have a bitter taste..

Okay I am not going to let this affect the mood of our trip. We'll just focus on the many great Chinese culinary delights that await us in Shanghai. After all that's what Singaporean are well know for EAT : )