Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

2019 – Halfway Mark

As I took stock of 2019, I remember how much my parents have aged and mobility is becoming an issue for my mum.

I am also reminded on how much crankier my mum has become and that I am preparing for her to also suffer from memory issues.

2019 has thankfully given me job stability in that my Lords are decent and not unnecessarily difficult for the sake of being difficult. I suppose this time round, I was smart to choose to work for an employee boss.

Although the owner’s son is also a management team member, he is respectfully leaving it to employee boss to run the show. He is not power hungry or crazed to want to sit on the throne.

I call him the modern boss who wants to hire professionals to do the job and leave the major directions to be suggested and considered.

Monkey Lord reminds me that he is not the “boss” and often moans at how the board of directors might one day fire him as he has been verbose in telling them how they should think.

Monkey Lord has appreciated working the the owner always as he views him as an entrepreneur and can see the merits in thinking like an entrepreneur.

Board members who are not entrepreneurs can think well on paper but may not have the skills to dissect and apply to the industry we are in.

I cannot be bothered anymore as I have been through war zones with previous lords and am happy to just do as am told, offer advice once in a while and shut up the rest of the time.

I have enough on my plate and would prefer to plod along and not think or act smart.

Let the “smart”ones do their smart things.

I rather look stupid and not open my mouth because most times if I open it, I end up doing the work.

Such is work life imbalance for me and I am happy to work quietly and not be distracted.

Afterall, each month end, I can just bank in my cheque and be paid.

So what has 2019 shown me?

  1. Threats of economic instability from surrounding countries that could undermine our safety as a lil red dot.
  2. MR EX and what he is truly like as I peel him like an onion, each layer leaving me in tears. I see goodness in him but I also hold paranoid fear of his fake goodness and what his intentions are from me? Business or friendship? Love or usable asset? Only he knows I suppose.
  3. Resurrection of Mr Docile and what his intentions are? Yes, I am suspicious here as people tend to only look for me when they want something of me! Hmm..but he has written me a long text message “swearing” his intentions are pure and good. Double hmm…
  4. Review of what family means to me….still not whole lot as Bro is still as selfish as ever and although Sis is behaving better, I know they will never be good siblings to me as I have never been considered a sibling of theirs. I wondered if this would have been erased or nipped at the bud when young if my parents interceded for me? I blame my dad and mum for creating this rift and letting them get at me all the time.
  5. Health wise, I am wondering what is next for me? I need to be in Bates Motel soon and I have an innate fear that one day, both my parents will drive me to the point of suffering a stroke as I am so stressed from caring for them.

So how will 2019 end?

I don’t know and am plodding along in this adventure (optimist) or nightmare (pessimist)?

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35C Temperatures! Whopping Heat Really….

The MET service has predicted 35C temperatures for this week and I could already feel the heat when I stepped out onto the tarmac to walk.

It would be crazy of me to proceed really as I should be indoors, lazing on the cool marble floor and catch up on forty winks with my inanimate furball Garfield in tow.

But I am lured by the prospect of taking nice photos of the gardens where I usually go to.

Perhaps there will be a respite. It looks pretty clouded now and I guess with the rain clouds hovering, it could give heat respite once it showers and cools the paths I would walk on.

MR EX has seen my photos and he has asked me to share with him – he wants to “steal” them. I did not mind as once posted, it could be used as these were not proprietary to me. Of course, copyright vests with me as I took them but I am not about to claim anything as anyone who spends the time walking and exploring could actually find these flowers, plants or trees or anything animate.

But then the sarcastic MR EX would arise and start criticizing that I did not take the photos well.

Hallloooo…I let you use the photos for free and without need to acknowledge, so spare me the criticism pleaaassseee!

But if I were to take it in the right vein, maybe he wants me to learn how to take better photos. I listened and will try to put in what he shared in photography skills…I have a Samsung Galaxy 9+ android…it is point and shoot for photography challenged me.

Remember, this is one being who has never owned a camera till the world introduced smart phones with a camera!


Apologies Are Hardest

Now that is an apology that reeks of no apology masked in words.

I feel like using it most times when riled to the Nth level of fury, which give rise to yet another adage, “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”

If only my wisdom comes in a well.

Then I seek the path to wisdom well.

If I still fail in being wiser then perhaps mischievious like a monkey I shall be?


Disruptive Sleep

Over the weekend, Bird texted me to ask for advice to review the MRI report for her uncle living in Indonesia. Indonesia is not trusted for its medical services and a lot of Indonesians do come to Singapore for their expertise in medical treatment.

It seems that since his last visit, her uncle is now diagnosed with Brain Cancer.

The MRI report did not say anything to suggest an cancerous growth except that there was edema or some form of swelling.

To be prudent as I am not a medical practitioner,  I asked her to send me the MRI scans so that I could enlist the help of Dr James Tan to review and if the Uncle could jet into Singapore for assessment.

Bird said that the Indonesian doctors forbade her Uncle from flying in as he had brain swellings.

Dr James was really expedient in his reply and before I knew it, 7 emails comprising scans of MRIs, reports etc were read by Dr James and his immediate response to Bird was to have her Uncle given steroids 4 to 6 hours pre flight and he could fly.

However, the stark news was that the tumor must be located and this could be through a PET SCAN. Based on Dr James evaluation, it seems the tumor has many, many secondaries and if Uncle arrives in Singapore, he will advise radiation to the whole head.

Bird has not registered that it is cancer just yet but a tumor is present. I am hopeful for her and her Uncle that perhaps, it is a benign tumor that has gone wacky.

But the truth is, with that many secondaries, it is unlikely to be benign or cysts as it has permeated the whole brain.

As I was tired on Sunday night, zonked out by 9pm, I woke up at 3am and read Dr James’ message and though I wafted back into lala land, I was traumatized by the news as it meant that her Uncle had little hope of beating this.

Bird’s Uncle would need a miracle for the numerous tumors to be benign.

The frailties of life really. One day hale and hearty and suddenly during routine checkup, this is discovered.

I do hope that if Bird’s Uncle has no hope of beating this, then may his suffering be short as what can be worst than having a brain full of tumors that is compressing his eye sight, and the entire body which could render him in a vegetative state once the brain shuts down.

Bird and I ever so grateful to Dr James who did not even charge a fee to go through all the MRIs, scans and reports to make a quick decision. I hope Bird’s Uncle can benefit from Dr James expertise if he does make it to Singapore for treatment.

Blessings and prayers to Bird’s Uncle for a speedy recovery.


5.47Km Walk #2 – Tiny Flowers That Escape Eyes

In America, there are alot of Wisteria flowers. I have seen this and a lot of WordPress bloggers have posted beautifully long and flowing Wisteria flowers.

During my walk, I saw these miniatures of Wisteria.

I think they look like it.



Much has been raised about the impermanence of things. Nothing lasts forever for daily things. I don’t know about your country where you live in but here, our properties are flipped and flopped for sale and torn down to be rebuilt once it reached 25 years or so, through what we call enbloc sales.

I pity the people who live in these homes as all it takes is 80% of an apartment block to agree and the 20% who may vote no, are denied their continued rights to live there.

Most of the people who do not wish to move out before the bull dozers come has one pivotal reason – they are retirees!

It is tough to uproot and move to a new location and start over for them and especially those with cognitive issues, it becomes traumatic for them.

I know from experience as my parents were relocated last year and they have not gotten use to the new location.

Everything becomes a chore! Distance to the mall is too far. It is hard to try and find your way out of the new development as circulation space is narrow and unfriendly for the seniors.

Architects will design new facilities that is smaller in size and with multi storey car park, playground and maximum gross floor area usage, it means that community bonding areas are foregone.

Seniors cannot gather at common areas to do their daily yakkity yaks and this isolates them. Furthermore, they are housed together with young couples and these young couples tend to have a close door policy.

I thought to myself…I will have impermanence too and when the time comes, I wonder how will I cope? I have learnt to enjoy my own company and need not have people around me to make me feel comforted or needed. I find that I have lots to do, such as tottering to the parks to take photos of the flora or plants I see.

Will I need human connection? I suppose so but I can get that when I go to the stores and stop to chat with the foreign workers toiling in the sun or offer help to people who may need it.

Last evening I was asked by my neighbor for a chat as he had undergone a test and found a tumor in his MRI. I chatted with him on options and how to seek a second opinion, how to use his insurance carefully and most importantly try and pay bill on his own because at his age (60 years) and if he is diagnosed with cancer, I think the employer will not be kind and “manage him out” of his job even though he is allowed to work till age 62 and with reemployment supposedly offered till 67 years.

I felt sad for him, it was now my turn to comfort him as he comforted me when I went for multiple surgeries. I told him to stay positive as it could be nothing or  benign – but his doctor told him 70% chance of it being cancerous.

I sincerely hope for his sake, it is benign and or it was due to a recent fever that caused a tumor to be captured on the MRI.

I wish him a speedy recovery.


3 New Big Projects On The Horizon

My work zone is inundated with new projects that unfortunately, my 2 side kicks cannot help me with as they too are swamped with the work they are holding.

I have begun to question work of late.

Why is it so hard to work in lil red dot?

Employers are demanding and employees see it as their need to toe the line and work harder, else they lose their job.

I was surprised to read an article this morning that described America under Trump’s leadership that has the longest effort at promoting the creation of work jobs.

It would seem that the Orange Man has done something right?!

If so, then I am happy for Americans as it is holding up as the country with the best economic growth.

Much has been talked about here in lil red dot about the need to stay innovative, embrace artificial intelligence, be prepared for disruptions in how we do everyday things and basically strive forward.

I am nimble on my toes, but I often wonder if being nimble and accepting change is really at all possible as in any organisation, I can be too fast and others cannot catch up.

Ms Feisty is feeling the pressures of work as she is not able to comprehend English instructions easily and tends to put up a mental block. Once the block is up, she lashes out and refuses to do the work.

Is this good or bad? I explained to her why it is not good and how to decide if it is bad.

She is oblivious to how situations may turn around to bite her and I am always looking out for her to ensure that she does not fall. Sometimes, being too watchful has its downside for me, as I may be disliked by her.

But I explained the need as to why I need to be watchful when it infringes on labor law as we now have to appear before labor court if there are any unhappy expectant mums.

We had a case of a junior underling who has a work attitude problem ie becoming extra smart to start consuming medical leave to the maximum when she became pregnant and now seizes the opportunity to maximise maternity leave with annual leave and all sorts of statutory leaves, without respecting the mutual agreement required between employer and employee.

Whilst the company is striding ahead to acquire new projects, I feel the humans are not prepared for the great strides ahead.

My biggest fear is the inability cope by many and with a tight labor market, humans can choose to vote with their feet and leave for $50 more and lesser work.

I am curious to see how worklife will transcend in the next 10 years.


Comparing MR EX To Mr Ability To Earn

For those who follow my posts or rants or whatever, you will know that I mediated between Mr Ability To Earn and MR EX.

Without taking sides, I reviewed the facts of the case and though I had disliked MR EX than compared to a working relationship with Mr Ability To Earn, I remained objective.

MR EX introduced Mr Ability To Earn to run and manage some benefit programs for me. If not for MR EX, I would not even know of the existence of Mr Ability To Earn.

I did not know the referral fees between the both and this came to light when I was asked to mediate.

Mr Ability To Earn had stiffed MR EX of the referral fees (*it seems and was the case) since 2001.

MR EX had asked him for the payment but Mr Ability To Earn refused to pay, citing there was no written contractual obligation to do so.

This riled MR EX as he had an oral agreement with Mr Ability To Earn.

My position to Mr Ability To Earn was that a contract, in the form of an oral agreement or otherwise, is albeit a contract.

Fact remains that without MR EX, I would not know of Mr Ability To Earn. Without being privy to their side agreement, but looking at the facts of the case, Mr Ability To Earn must honor whatever he had orally agreed with MR EX.

Mr Ability To Earn then relented and paid. As for the settlement sum, I thanked MR EX for being the gentleman and not asking for 8 years of co sharing fees. He accepted 1 year as he was the bigger man.

Mr Ability To Earn did not offer to pay him the remaining 7 years and I noted this side of Mr Ability To Earn.

Is it the pride of men I wondered?

Now that I have had to deal with a brother (related by blood) who refused to treat me like a sister and despises me despite whatever good I have done but chose to align with my father to throw me out of a home, and this Mr Ability To Earn, I realized that perhaps men (*generalizing here) prefer not to apologize.

MR EX may be a moron to me but all that I have seen is the grief he has suffered from me. I have lashed out at him, laughed and hated him but yet he is like a fly that will never go away.

MR EX may be uncouth when compared to tie wearing Mr Ability To Earn, but he has more honorable scruples than Mr Ability To Earn.

I was blind, but now I see.


The Return Of Cynical Me

2 instances of late has recharged the cynicism in me.

Mr Docile and Mr Ability To Earn are both gents at opposite end of the pole.

One is accepting of his place in society, almost liking a reclusive life whilst the other is a sharky, conniving and for lack of a better word, greedy.

On the outside, Mr Ability To Earn seems docile and harmless, always giving off a wooden look. This is the more sinister man is how I feel.

Mr Docile is harmless as all he wants to do now at age 66 is to play his guitar and just be laid back.

Mr Ability To Earn at age 57 is still pursuing money, relentlessly at anybody’s expense. I use to admire this trait but when I saw how ruthless he could be, I took several steps back to remind self that I did not like this trait.

I have always believed in helping by giving people a leg up. Mr Ability To Earn wanted to win a much lauded award for his agency. I assisted him and he won it, not one but in 2 consecutive years.

I did not expect thanks and neither did I get it as I do not believe in seeking glorification. All I did ask was for sincerity and the belief of his words that he took this new found acquaintance as a “friend”

The difference between Mr Ability To Earn and Mr Docile is that the latter has arrived. The former is still a grabber and I cannot deprive him of his aspirations.

But the acme of one’s status can come at a price and the price must be what Mr Ability To Earn is prepared to pay.

I do not owe Mr Ability To Earn a living but he does owe me the due rights of a client, the responsibility of servicing as an agent and my right for being diligent in reading what I choose to buy. Afterall, it is caveat emptor isn’t it?

But of course Mr Ability To Earn forgets that.

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And So The Story Goes #99 – Ipswich, UK?

It has been a long silence from the ridiculous messaging of MR EX. I did not miss his presence but did miss the fodder for a blog post.

What a paradox one might quip right?

MR EX himself is a paradox.

All the euphemisms of the world will not exonerate this man is how I feel. Still, the fodder for the post is sowed.






He thinks he is Tattoo of the old series Fantasy Island whereby the Tattoo, the trusty aide of Mr Rourke of Fantasy Island would shout, “Boss, the plane, the plane!” to indicate the arrival of new guests on the island to explain caviar and champagne dreams.


“Ipswich, Backwater”


“You there to watch soccer? Enjoy and leave the Backside Water safe!”


He would always mention my backside and I now zing one back at him. I googled Backwater and indeed there is such a town in Ipswich itself and it seems to have nice scapes too.


“Kick cactus in the desert. Work now, Bye”


Desert? Who is he kidding and the best part is, why bother to tell me what you are doing at 2am UK time?


“Please be careful on UK deals as Brexit is in the throes of a messy situation. It might scathe you and cause you financial losses”


Brexit is not moving along any time soon and knowing MR EX who has millions to throw (*presumably as he tends to brag but I doubt he has and may end up mired in heavier debt)


“My two feet are in. No turning back now. Meeting now.”


MR EX must think I am a ruddy fool…meeting at 2am again in UK when I know the Brits turn in early unless there is a soccer party ongoing.


“Whatever the case, take care and meeting at 2am UK time is brutal as I thought the Brits turn in early unless pubbing. Enjoy your pint then.”


MR EX must really think I am an idiot who knows not what is a bull crap and what is reality? I have not googled Backwater to find out if indeed there are deserts there and if there were deserts there, who in the world would go there to invest in developments?

He might was well be in Gobi Desert – at least the is hope and talk of massive developments in Dubai and the Middle East.

Ahh well, I am grateful for the fodder for this post and whatever his message meant, I take it at face value…it is just for this post. If he makes riches, it does not add to my material wealth and if he loses heavily in his investments and cannot afford a meal, I will offer him a bowl of soup as I do not let anyone starve. But for his sake, I hope he does not get burnt from all this.

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