Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

Not Following My Own Advice

I started today by writing a letter (yes, snail mail – archaic but realistic as not everyone in the world is internet connected!) and it has been a long time since I put pen to paper. Technically, it was using my keyboard and PC to generate the words to print on paper.

Ugh! These days my handwriting are like fowl scratches but I had to put this letter out as I needed to offer advice to my friend in New Zealand (The Land Of Cows). She had lost her husband and with loss comes a lot of grief.

As I wrote, I reflected on my own advice I was giving her….To live is to die and to die is to live! One has to let go….(Don’t make fun of me now, as this is haunting almost like the Disney song, Let It Gooooo…..)

I thought back to the things that I find most difficult letting go and that was my tiresome, energy sapping relationship with my then boyfriend. Technically he and I have separated. But I know that “separation” is at his will and behest because once he is “free” or find some value in looking me up, he will be back (Hmm…remember those Arnie movies of the Terminator kind….)

But this time, even if he does come back and try to entrench self into my life, I am less giving.

I believe my notion of help these days are more restrictive and selective. By helping this leech of my then boyfriend, he has gained tremendously and in his gaining, he has flitted out to get the stuff he wants more.

Yes, letting go it never easy and as I grow older each day, I realise that it is harder to let go.

People call it mid life crisis but it seems that mid life crisis has been with me all my life! Ugh! Surely I am in a vicious circle of mid life crisis! LOL!

If I wore the spectacles of life, I reflected and saw self as being a fool most times thinking I am helping someone in the world. The list of who is who and who have benefitted is rather long. Many do not return to say “thanks” but in fact feel they deserved help.

Others who do come, I feel energised and motivated to continue to help.

It is again easy to say not to expect “thanks” but in truth, the word “thanks” or having a person think of you is indeed heart warming.

Yes, it is easy to dish advice but for self to follow it, I see it as my own Achilles heel! πŸ™‚

Making decisions or life changing ones especially are never easy and I applaud anyone who successful does it, without remorse, sadness or fear of not achieving. Onward ho…..

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My Lifestyle Choice Is But A Dream

I have always harbored the dream of owning a vineyard, complete with a guesthouse in Australia.

Some years back, I would have as I was getting ready to plonk some $330,000 Aussie dollars to buy a huge vineyard off Perth. I would have land to agist sheep and cattle, vineyards and a lovely farmhouse. Plus the trees in the estate would supply much needed vine ropes for tying grape vines.

But my lifestyle had a change as I was diagnosed with an I curable ailment. I did not know if I would die and if I did, I did not know when. Sickening not knowing my expiration date πŸ˜€

That put a dent in my plans and I withdrew from this dream.

Whilst I thought that lifestyle could give me the peace and tranquility away from hustle and bustle of city life, I thought very hard as living in the boondocks in Australia meant medical care was not around the corner.

Unlike the little red dot where I grew up in, convenience is everything.

As I am not a handy man, plumbing, mail, groceries etc was a stumbling block and my diagnosis of my life ailment was in a state of flux. Coupled with my ailment, it would be a challenge doing those.

Working on vines, harvesting grapes, making vine or viniculture, managing a guest house, working on the farm for my own veggies would be a tremendous toll on me and it was not as if I could go out and hire hands easily and readily like I can in Singapore.

I am grateful I did not uproot and go as given my spinal issues, there was no way I can manage being a cleaning woman, farmer, wine maker or chef all rolled into one.

Life does have its moments…henceforth, I always say when life gives me lemons, I whip out lemon tarts and other delectable pastries.

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People Around Me Are Dropping Like Flies

I am reminded that I am a mortal as lately, people around me are dropping like flies!

I am unsure where this saying came about but I figured it had to do with a short lifespan of a housefly.

I am not philosophical, I do not have a PhD and I am not spiritual but I do believe in the spiritual world.

As with any life form, death has to happen. The Grim Reaper is always around, keeping time with Father Time. Grim Reaper does not negotiate and from my watching of movies, Grim Reaper is always portrayed in a hood and robes with a sickle at the end of his lance. He is a dark character. Silent and foreboding!

To live is to die. Each day, I die as a day is minus off my life span.

Last evening, Dr Arthur Lim passed. I had just sat down with him over a charity dinner event couple of months back and his sudden passing was not welcomed by me, though he was 80 years old when he passed. A reknowned Opthalmic surgeon, he has done well philanthropically and medically, putting my little red dot as a prominent Eye Center in the world.

Keith Wadley passed, too young before his time after an aggressive fight with brain tumor.

Our life or life to me is a journey on Earth. Once I have paid my dues, like a product, I will be recalled.

I guess I have an expiry shelf life too. How will I look at death? Every time before major surgery I do the right things of getting my estate in place, instructing close friends what I want done, giving as little problems to the living.

Each time, I survived. I am playing Russian Roulette I feel. One day, I may not be lucky and I will be recalled for sure.

Will I then wreak havoc in hell or heaven? Is there a heaven and how is membership to heaven determined?

It cannot be the case that if I led an evil life but after I received last sacrament rights I am given a free gate pass to heaven?

I have no answers…..

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Money Isn’t Everything, But Without Money, One Is Nothing

This old Chinese adage carries deep meaning and today, as I sip on my java and munched my toast over breakfast, this headliner grabbed me to read the article.

I could not agree more. The pursuit of happiness is not monetary but realistically, without financial standing or wealth, one is literally nothing.

I had a voice message from Thursday that I did not retrieve till last evening and it was from a lady I met whilst in transition for a flight to Macau. She was with her husband and both were in their late fifties.

Whilst our flight was delayed, we laughed and joked and soon made fast friends over the years. Her point of origin was Christchurch, New Zealand and she and her husband owned a farm with livestock.

They were on the way to Macau to visit their son who is a jockey at Macau Horseracing Club.

Years passed and with my own medical issues, I did not correspond with her as they lived in a world without IT. Time difference made it hard for us to chat at right times.

The message I retrieved was a sad one as she was reaching out for a friend. Her husband passed within 4 months of the diagnosis of an aggressive brain tumor. She has been coping with the management of her farm minus her husband and to top it off, her only other son who lives down the road was also diagnosed with melanoma.

I think it is not so much about money for her but the pain of losing her livestock and memories. She is not obscenely rich but money would have been nice for her to hire charge hands and crew to manage the farm and she sits back to keep it.

Money is not everything but reality bites as we all cannot live off fresh air and sunshine. If we could, fantastic, then our lives of office politics, evil head honchos or arrogant CEOs are out the window.

Now that would be a nice utopian ideal πŸ˜‰

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Lampooning CEOs Or Praising…….

There are different calibre of CEOs.

We have CEOs of celebrity status like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch or Li Kashing!

These are Forbes list of CEO personnel, with huge net worth values. They command status of the arrived in mega conglomerates. They do charity work, humble and benevolent to the cayse they believe in.

A huge notch down are CEOs of small, medium enterprises. These are usually characters who have not arrived, with huge egos and terribly arrogant. I have met two in my life and they each had glaringly similarities.

Hungry for local awards and recognition, they do not have millions to throw but like to exude status of wealth and carry with them a huge air of arrogance.

Character wise, they carry a false front. Not warm but faking great warmth in front of press or media, citing much “love” for their employees.

In truth, employees do not have complimentary coffee or tea and are treated like second class citizens usually. Cost is a factor. To give beverages means cost. To offer biscuits in the pantry means more cost.

CEO 1 believed he was the most benevolent soul. He named a cafe within his business after ‘Love’ but he gave none. His warmth equated the usefulness one gives. When one is no longer useful, out the window, this person went.

But when it came to publicity, this CEO is in every possible publication or social media. He was portrayed iconically as God symbol, short of people prostrating self before him and venerating him.

CEO 2 is cold and aloof living in his Tower of Babel. Out of touch with reality or what is the talk on the ground, his Porsche matters more than anything.

I feel that CEOs who are not up to the status of Forbes list and insist on being arrogant and ruthless to staff cannot go far.

Business is largely inherited for these blokes and in the case of CEO 1, through marriage. But he had to sell it off. If he was worth his salt as CEO, he would have grown the business and raised it up a notch further.

As for CEO 2, being distrustful of anyone and everyone will lead this business no where.

I admire the likes of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates or any great mogul as I find them humble most times.

Though I have not personally met or discussed table topics with these men, I have spoken to ‘CEO’s of Singapore. I see my little red dot’s Prime Ministers as CEOs.

Without these ‘CEOs’ our little red dot would not have grown.

Mr Lee Kuan Yew in his conversation with me exuded humbleness. The same with Mr Goh Chok Tong. I was a mere name in his organization called Singapore but they neither made me feel small or little!

Now, these are real CEOs….they cared for all, leaving no one out, unlike CEO 1 or CEO 2!

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Explosion, 1 Dead….My Text Message Was Written As I Received It

I was woken up at the wee hours this morning informing me that a barge the company owned had an explosion and one casualty. The message further wrote that 5 missing!

My heart sank as this was bad.

By the evening, I managed to get news from the country where this took place. Yes, we lost a valued colleague. The description that came over text messaging was disparaging.

“Eyes, brains and teeth blown out, death was instant and funeral concluded today”. Being Muslim, the funeral rites were performed immediately.

What was sad was that this sole breadwinner left behind two young school going children aged 7 and 9 years respectively.

An investigation will follow but from what I read, it was a silly lapse of safety. It almost always is. I remember when a rig blew up off the coast of West Australia, we were thankful no loss of lives as all managed to safely evacuate before the rig engulfed in flames.

Another incident was when a stabbing board malfunctioned causing the frightened individual to leap off the board only to be clipped between the hydraulics.

In today’s instance, hot works after painting! Obviously it caused an explosion, resulting in the loss of one life.

It is always on hindsight we say this. Safety is pivotal and having learnt in the offshore oil and gas business, I view safety seriously, always hanging onto rails when climbing stairs or overhead bridges or on escalators.

Non slip shoes, mats etc and a clutter free floor is important as well.

Work will be crazy in the weeks to follow as a commission of enquiry will definitely be conducted. If and only if, everyone held safety as if their lives depended on it, I am sure there will be zero incidents or accidents – a HSE’s dream!

My sympathies to the fallen colleague’s family during this time of loss! ;-(

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My Mad Dinner Menu This Evening…

I must be absolutely bored with eating normal meals as this evening I felt nothing more than having a punnet of blue berries from my favorite USA state of Oregon, a green Zespri Kiwi from New Zealand and an orange from S Africa.

International cuisine won’t you say! LOL!

Simple and easy to make. All I had to do was to wash the fruits and peel the orange and Kiwi fruit.

All this is eaten in front of my goggle box whereby the Voice of China is playing.

This is a song competition series in China whereby four judges select protΓ©gΓ©s with their backs turned, just hearing the songs these aspiring singers sing and turning around after hitting a buzzer to select them.

A different approach to America’s Got Talent series or American Idol series.

It shows the mainland Chinese struggling with the English language to belt out American song hits.

I strongly believe that with the world’s largest population, China will produce a lot of talent in sports, science, or anything there is!

Back to my chomping of blueberries…yummy! I am certainly one crazy Garfield hugging woman chomping on the oddest meal choice this evening! LOL!

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A Cockamamie Description Of A Sandwich, But Hey It’s Delicious!

I make the oddest foods and with sandwiches, nothing holds me back in terms of creativity.

I love the ends of loaves of breads. These I save till last and pop them into the toaster till nice and brown. In this instance, I used Sunshine brand, low glycemic index nutty bread.

I just love the seeds that they used to make this loaf.

Freshly popped out of the toaster, brown and toasty, I slap on a wedge of Laughing Cow brand’s paprika cream cheese. I then dribble generously, a portion of Bee Cheng Hiang’s pork floss. I then add on two slivers of their streaky bacon ‘back Kwa’ pork that is BBQ.

I then put on two thin slices of champagne ham. Yup, east meets west or my idea of yin and yang sandwich.

Eaten with a cup of Lipton’s tea, this made a lovely dinner sandwich, accompanied by a plate of Chinese greens blanched in hot water and having mushroom sauce dribbled over it for flavoring.

To me, it was a delicious meal! Simple, unheard of and totally revolting to some but really, it tasted really great!

Like everything else that tastes great, don’t even stop and think of the calories as it must have been monstrous, setting me back in my dieting efforts for a week!

Still, I am allowed to indulge once in a while and when I described this sandwich concoction to Chicken and my parents, they baulked! They think I have gone nutty! πŸ˜€


The Purpose Of Insurances

There is always a huge divide between CFOs and Human Resources.

CFOs sees $ and HR sees humans!

I have seen how a rig blown up and loss of lives or an incident or accident that claimed a live or in my case, more than 13 offshore incidences that claimed these lives.

Stinging or cutting down on extent of coverage is easy….one gambles with risk. If a life is loss, the least that can be helped is a stipend from the life or personal accident policy.

Loss of a bread winner is painful and it cannot be the case that a company just closes it eyes and ignore the family.

Yes, premiums can be hefty but if as the proverbial saying goes, if shit hits the fan, then CFO had best have deep pockets to pay out, not to mention the public liability involved.

Monies versus lives….how does one quantify cost of a life as this is subjective to CFO. For HR cost is measured via annual salary multiplied by number of years.

Is it fair for CFO to call shots to decrease insurance coverage as a result of austerity measurements or is it prudent to insure and hedge risks?

One would need a good competent and accredited CFO to make this decision isn’t it else an ignorant fool of a CFO may indeed bankrupt the company for the sake of premium savings!

As they say, there are half baked CFOs and there are the really qualified CFOs.

Can the real CFO please stand up! πŸ™‚

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Is Religion Still Relevant In Today’s New Economy?

It is believed in the Christian world that God created the world in 7 days and made Adam and Eve.

Scientists say there is evidence of the Big Bang Theory and the world came about.

I often questioned the role of religion and faith. Being in spiritual limbo after being a staunch Roman Catholic, I find faith and religion quite a challenge.

To me (strictly me, myself and I), I personally feel that faith is there only to comfort one. I find religion a place of solace as one goes to seek comfort. I personally have not experienced miracles, just heaps of ignoring from God that I have ended up quite literally questioning my own beliefs and with it, the blind trust, I placed with a spiritual being worshipped.

Again, I emphasize that I do believe there are spirits in our realm and that, spiritual ancestors do look out for us. But I do know acknowledge the existence or presence of God.

Could be the extreme trials and tribulations I have experienced and the neglect I felt from God?

I have staunch Christian friends who swear by their God. The teachings are arguable. I face calamity or a trial or any given situation because it seems, ” God wants me closer and for me to believe in HIM!”

I argue, erm does this mean HE punishes me in order to get me closer! Nearer to thee?

I have lost all connectivity to God. As if Bluetooth pairing failed and wifi subscription closed off.

The evil I see or deeds of people I have seen around me, makes me heavily question my faith.

Do we do things because it is right or wrong or is it because the laws say NO or we are altruistic or less altruistic?

I have no answer as I live by my own conscience. I do not believe in God anymore as my faith is no longer strong as practicality has taken over.

I solve my own problems. Prayer does not solve it if I sat holed up in prayerful sessions. At most faith just gives me comfort but reality is in the fact that I have to seek own solutions as there are rarely divine interventions. Things happen for a reason.

Fate brings people together. Fate determines our well being. To change faith or believe that God can change faith maybe just a Hallmark channel episode on cable TV.

My spiritual limbo continues…..