Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

Waiting For Other Shoe To Drop!

Waiting for the other shoe to drop is agonising! I received unpleasant news last evening and know that I have an uphill battle against me. Sad but what can I do?

Letter boxes bring either bills or bad news. With E mail and cards, most communications which are usually nice and pleasant would have been sent and received by me either through email, Whats App, We Chat, SMS or some form of electronic medium through my handheld device.

I now have to wait till I am able to understand the full picture as I go through the process of acquiring information.

Blow after blow…I am expressed tired and sometimes wish to let go.

Still what choice do I have but to go through the mill. If I survive, I live to write another blog. If I do not survive, I guess I would write about it too.

It is easy to say “have courage” but sometimes even the most courageous can be despondent.

To those in my same shoes and waiting for the other shoe to drop….take heart, the time will come and when it comes, I guess I have to make lemonade with the lemons that come with it.

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Mr Ngiam Tong Dow On Healthcare, F1 & Politicians

I intelligently reported for work this morning forgetting my keys. I locked myself out.

Rummaging in the pantry to wile away time, I chanced upon Tuesday’s edition of Today dated 1 Oct 2013 and read Mr Ngiam’s interview excerpt entitled in this blog’s subject heading.

Mr Ngiam was spot on in his diagnosis on healthcare, F1 and Politicians.

Healthcare is always a pet subject of mine as it affects all Singaporeans including ME!

His insightful analysis made me realise that indeed foreigners help us contain healthcare cost at 4% GDP. Other developed countries like Norway or Sweden has it higher and to top higher income tax rates too! I remember paying no less than $S30 for a humble burger at Burger King and it was not even a Whopper or a meal! The same burger cost me a lot lesser at home in Singapore than at Stavanger! Fish soup cost me S$100 a bowl!

Mr Ngiam showed me the usefulness of foreign medical tourism and how it helped transform and sustain health care dynamics. Indeed I would worry if we started to “pa bang” ie swat flies as we are free with no demand for medical services in Hokkien!

I have to thank foreigners for that.

I was amused by Mr Ngiam’s analogy of the F1. Honestly I did not tie that to my income taxes paid. I thought it brought in tourist dollars, generated business to our economy and driving increased revenues.

I thought about what he said. I can agree that F1 benefits an elite few for those who can afford the tickets. I also know as an island state we paid a bomb for it to be hosted here. I wonder if the values of costs versus expenditures and other extrinsic factors add up in a cost benefit analysis! I suppose statisticians and politicians are accounting for this?!

I must confess I am not a car buff. Frankly I see no merits in Vettel speeding through as I tried sitting in front of my TV and all I could see was a little vision of what the driver sees.

As a spectator at the circuit, my colleague said all that could be felt was the ear splitting noise, smell of exhaust fumes and burning tyres on tarmac. Cars went too fast to be seen. Hmm – I do not understand F1.

I laughed at his analogy of politicians’ behavior. I can agree with his logic. The ground echoes similiar sentiments rightfully or wrongfully. But proactive steps have been taken to reign in salaries. Gone are the days of old guard MPs whose heart was embellished in the nation and they did their jobs with passion and genuine care, love and pride. But what do we know as the new guards may be just as feisty & passionate perhaps!

For this, I applaud Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Mr Lim Kim San, Mr Goh Keng Swee and their then cabinet ministers who went through much sacrifice and hardship to give Singapore a strong infrastructure today. Their tenacity and ability to give robust parliamentary debates gave us the foundation as they built Singapore under very tough circumstances.

Again Mr Ngiam’s observation is right for me to compare at work say an employee and with a boss. How many will speak with same amount of fire in the belly when high salaries are at stake when employed in a company as boss has last say i.e. my way or the highway!

I would like Singapore to thrive after Mr Lee Kuan Yew. We need to sustain our growth carefully or better it, recognising that we are a ‘poisonous shrimp’ to our neighbors in our “little red dot” we call Singapore.

On this note, I close my blog my thanking Mr Lee Kuan Yew for setting the way with his team; Mr Goh Chok Tong for driving it further; and PM Lee Hsien Loong for managing a more complainative and complex generation of Singaporeans who are IT savvy and ready to deliver views with expectations of government doing more.

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Dear Jerk Face’s Gift!


Jerk Face is my former graduate teaching fellow (GTF) Ron Ripple. I say Jerk Face in the fondest sense as he is the one of the most kindest man I knew on teaching staff at University Of Oregon back then.

Whilst he may not be the most enthusiastic lecturer in terms of monotony, he had a good heart and a brilliant mind. From Juneau, Alaska he looked out for both Judy Hirotaka and I.

He was not fussy about food and would eat Asian cuisine. Ron has visited me in Singapore twice since he moved from USA to Perth and Sydney Australia. But now that he has relocated back to Maryland, I guess it will be a long while before I hear from him.

He is horrid at writing. Hence Jerk Face! Guffaws.

He gave me this Garfield in his last visit and he told me I would be Chairman of the Board…ha ha Surf Board as he was based in Hawaii once and I used to remind him that he looks like Magnum PI. Yup same tall height as Tom Selleck with same moustache back then.

I enjoy Jerk Face’s intellect and kindness.

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Lionel’s Gift


Lionel gave this to me on my birthday years ago. He was my ex colleague and I remember him taking the trouble to hunt it down for me.

I do not know what Lionel is up to these days and have lost touch. He was a talented graphic designer and I remember how our ex boss milked us dry to squeeze every ounce of our talent and time to do extra.

This is the remarkable difference between an employee boss and an owner boss.

Persona is different for owner boss as they tend to shore up wealth on personal nature as compared to an employed boss who is keen to protect and get best for self at not his expense.

I hope Lionel is doing well. I have not forgotten his time taken each time to get me lunch or breakfast packs.

I wish him every happiness and continued success in life.

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Look Ma, No Cataracts!


This is my fave Garfield. Getting on in years, he has developed “cataracts” as a result of frequent washing and the plastic black ink that dots his eye balls get worn.

Thanks to my “eye surgeon” nephew who prescribed quick techinques of using permanent ink marker to re-color the eye ball. He was just 10 years old then.

Smart and useful way of restoring sight to this raggedy Garfield ha ha…thanks nephew!


Biggest Garfield I Have


I have loads of Garfields but this one is the biggest I have.

Sitting on a dining table chair, Garfield is as tall as a man!

A gift from a family friend, I was delighted to have him join the other Garfields.

I am always happy to have a new member to my Garfield family 🙂

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October 3 – My Brother’s Birthday


My brother may think I do not care. I do. Tomorrow is his birthday and with each birthday is a milestone for him as he continues on with his aspirations and goals.

He may dream an impossible dream – but all dreams are impossible to begin with! It is the sheer tenacity and the will to succeed that will drive him and his motivations. For this, I applaud him and urge him on in his quest to a better world.

As Singaporeans we are often chided that we “compare too much” – by comparing, it keeps us competitive. Comparing is fine, so long as it does not stresses for kill one.

My best wishes to my brother on his birthday and I wish him every success in his goals and dreams. He is successful in his own right as he has managed to sustain himself in a foreign land for many years.

This is not easy but he has done it.

Happy birthday and may he enjoy good health, happiness, joy always!

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