Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

I Am Ready For Tomorrow….Wednesday Check Up With White Coats

All the hoopla with bitcoins! The bitcoin has certainly escalated in price!

My paws are still hurting.

My left paw is more swollen than my right paw, but my right paw hurts more than my left paw.

Neurologically, my left paw is in worst shape than my right paw but physically my right paw hurts more than my left paw!

Confused yet? Sheesh…I am!!

You think this is how my White Coats treat patients?

Nothing is normal about me. Scans or Xrays can show one thing but anatomically it is worst than what it shows till the White Coat goes in with the choppers!

Truth be told, I am scared out of my wits as I am unsure how surgeries on both paws will evolve.

How will the outcome be?

Stay tuned till August 2021…meanwhile I am gritting teeth and as they say, sucking it up! LOL!

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Are Memories Worth Recalling Or Keeping?

I do not have a lot of memories and whatever I have or gained in the years post surgeries are not worth remembering is how I feel.

You might ask me – WHY?

Memories to me are the past and I do not wish to relive the past as there is really nothing much to relive and remember pain, suffering and how things did not turn out the way I had hoped for.

I tend to live in the now and the present as what good can memories do to help me?

To remember how I trusted the wrong people? Remind myself for being silly thinking that knowing a person since childhood or as a young adult is knowing that person truly?

To remember bosses from hell? Not worth it!

To remember siblings for not caring? I don’t need to suffer the anguish and expectations of having a sibling in name despite same blood that course veins.

I am not being dark or ungrateful if you think I am.

What is the purpose of memories? Some say it is to relive the good moments. Hmm…I don’t have a lot of those and to me, a good moment is watching a nice soapie or a nice dinner with a person in the here and now and walk away.

I am glad that anaesthesia wiped away a lot of my memories – both good and bad.

The trouble is that being human, I have expectations and this is so wrong.

There is nothing in the manual (if there is such a manual) that siblings are expected to care for each other or for their parents.

There is nothing in that same manual to say that relationships between man and woman are expected to be served in a certain manner.

MR EX is a good example. He purports to care for the world and family but in all the decades I have known him, I was never in his totem pole of care unless I was needed to be a rainmaker or to do something of use to him.

Lords of work places will value me for the service I provide and nothing more. I am obliged to serve my sentence as I am paid. I cannot expect thanks and or appreciation as I am a paid minion. It is also wrong to think that relationships or friendships can be built especially in organisations with more than 300 minions.

I must learn to walk away from siblings thinking they owe me due care or that they owe due care to our parents. I really cannot expect that and it is wrong of me to do so.

Life then gets to be less painful as no expectations and if things are done in a surprising manner, wouldn’t that lift my spirits!

I am silly I know but this is my coping mechanism to continue in my journey of life and pooh pooh away the thought of having or storing memories.

Live spartanly, lesser baggage and life gets better all round I feel.

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Oodles Of Food Fun In Lil Red Dot

For those who are just stumbling onto my blog site – welcome and thank you for reading.

For my good blog friends and followers, you will know that Lil Red Dot (fond nickname of Singapore) is a foodie paradise. Singaporeans love to eat and complain. This is our Singaporean trait and uniquely defines us.

So much so that our quest to be UNESCO heritage site to make Lil Red a place for hawker trade was successful in 2020!

The flavors of our food are unique and we are a melting pot of cuisines from all over the world. As our Lil Red Dot has 4 major ethnic groups, we have terrific Malay cuisine that is chock full of spices, flavors that tinscillates any discerning palate.

Salty, spicy, coconutty creamy and interwoven with chillies and condiments, fish, meats and poultry or veggies are transformed into dishes that westerners find exciting.

Our Chinese cuisine has hues of Szechuan peppers, plain Teochew styled dishes, Hokkien noodles such as Hokkien Mee or Hakka’s thunder tea rice that is totally vegetarian.

The Eurasian culture or Portuguese curries such as Devil’s curry and a mix of western and eastern flavors makes it delectable too.

What is even more unique is that we have residents from Japan, S Korea, Turkey etc and with them, come their unique cultural blend of foods. Plenty of sushi, sashimi, udon, kebabs and the list goes on.

I find that over the years, the traditional dishes get reinvented by young aspiring chefs and especially with the Master Chef series and prominent chefs like Gordon Ramsey, Jaime Oliver and others, many have decided to throw their pens or laptops to be a chef.

Lawyers, dentists, doctors, office workers and housewives have now decided to be their own entrepreneurs and I am so surprised to see a local ice cream shop selling spicy ice cream made to taste like nasi lemak ( rice cooked in coconut milk served with sides of peanuts, anchovies, cucumbers, chilli paste and fried fish or chicken parts) or malay desserts like Chendol (shaved ice with fillings like palm seeds, red beans, jellies and palm sugar to taste in the coconut soupy base).

I have seen how food fusion has emerged and with it, comes new tastes.

Some flop. Others succeed but I wonder if it will be a food fad and wear off?

I can understand why visitors from Australia or USA or Europe love our food as we are a hodge podge of everything and Satay seems to be the overall favorite alongside chicken rice which even our Singapore Airlines serve in First Class or Business Class (before Covid-19)

Western food centers on BBQ, ribs and a main dish with salad, soups and breads, followed by dessert of ices, fruits or cakes. Ours is anything goes, without need for sequencing. Eyes see – stomach growls, cash paid, food is down the gullet.

With the Covid-19 pandemic, our tourism trade has grinded to a halt. Long time stalwarts of western food restauranters like Dan Ryan Chicago Grill and Tony Romas have folded. These are my 2 favorites for western dishes such as ribs or salads. I first stumbled upon Dan Ryan’s in Hong Kong’s Pacific Place.

So it is to be expected that new food entrepreneurs may open and shutter after a while as cost of service staff and rental really kills the grade if footfall disappears and no influx of tourists or pandemics such as Covid forces all to be housebound.

Such are the risks of business I guess. If you make it, you hit the jackpot till you are faced with new challenges.

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Some Thoughts On Life For 2021

Rule #1

I need not let others dominate my life by letting them make me angry, sad or helpless.

I can think of a few people who constantly do this to me but some of them, I cannot omit but must strive to learn to draw boundaries.

Snoopy’s wisdom ring true as I hardly reward myself with anything. My life has been thus far, a life without choices as I take up the slack that no one wants to take ownership for. But can I really turn my back on my selfish family who hides behind the excuse that I don’t live in lil red dot and so, their elderly parents are not their concerns nor responsibilities?

What would I do without starter fluids every morning?

That bitter coffee roast flowing through my gullet and signalling the bag of bones that it is another gruelling day ahead for me.

I do not know what makes me tick! All I know is that, I get up, I face more responsibilities.

I want a care free life.

I yearn for a life with minimal responsibilities and not living my life for others.

I want to be able to do what’s best for me and not always putting others first. I guess I am tired, drained from all the responsibilities and wish to remove the yoke and wake up to carefree days.

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As The World Turns, Life Goes On

The digital world is transforming at breakneck speed as humans transform with it. I feel that this speed is taking the seniors by storm and is not necessarily a good as they grapple with IT gadgets that are alien to them.

Banks have digitalized. We have E banks, E payments and a list of apps for E payments excluding E wallets and what nots. In Lil Red Dot we have the Pay Now, PayLah and a host of different modes for each of the different banks.

Come April 1, and no it is not an April Fool’s Day prank, bank tokens are to be done away with and a E token is enforced.

To access our government portals, the infamous Singpass will have to be accessed by a mobile device or a laptop.

No one can pay their hospital bill on leaving the specialist clinic or hospital. Nowadays, it must be through a link to your handphone and again for you to log in and E pay

I know many are grappling with all this as the hawker centres and restaurants they frequent have also begun not accepting cash for purchases.

How many seniors have a credit card or have income or financial standing for eligibility to have credit rating for a credit card?

My parents are neither Digital Natives i.e. people who are familiar with using IT gadgetry nor are they Digital Nomads. They lived through World War 2 and were introduced to wifi through me and I had to get their connectivity to the outside world wired up.

I am a Digital Native and a Digital Nomad (can work in different remote areas with wifi or internet connectivity). But I am still learning as digitalisation changes everyday and I am seeing how the paperworld is ending.

I have gone through so much changes in life to survive jobs that I have learnt the best way to embrace changes is to adapt and grow. I cannot be lazy. If I do, I will get left behind.

But I like old fashioned way of going to stores and supermarkets to pick out my groceries. I am uncomfortable with E shopping as sizes of clothes do not fit me easily from a standard template cut. I still like the feel of looking at the packet of meat I like, veggies and fruits I select and taking it home with me once I leave the supermarket.

My Korean neighbor across my unit thrives on E shopping. Daily deliveries averaging 3 to 4 per day as they order everything online. I can hear the frustration of the delivery guys as they are never home and are told to leave the items outside their door.

I dislike even having pharmaceutical drugs delivered to my unit as I prefer to look, touch and have a face to face with the pharmacist to ask about the drugs or ensure that shelf life is good.

I am old fashioned that way.

Working from home has taught me how to be alone and work in a silo state.

I will lose the sense of camaraderie and team spirit as I work in a silo. Covid has changed our working life. So much so that through organisational restructuring we will turn teams into silos as this will work better in the new economy of E working and physical site working.

Yes, as the world turns, I have to turn else I get left behind.

However, I may get vertigo as the spin may be too fast for my liking.

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It Is So Silly When….

It is so silly when I think that I have one pineapple tart, I will stop at just that ONE piece!

It is so silly when I think that I cannot rely on others for help but instead I get Neighbor doing great meals for me on a daily basis.

It is so silly when I think that MR EX “loved” me when in fact all he wanted was to “USE” me.

It is so silly when I think that if only Garfield, my inanimate furball can pick cottony self up and walk and talk to me.

It is so silly when I think that I am smart, when actually I am not!

It is so silly when I hear my elderly mum curse self for not dying as it saddens me.

It is so silly when I see people wasting their life and not striving to be better, although I know it is none of my business.

It is so silly when I think back of all the stupid things I have done in the name of “helping” – some people did not ask for help or need it.

It is so silly when I see self as a decrepit old fool in my ending years as I wonder how will I exit?

Enter the world,

Exit the world,

In tears of joy and tears of sorrow. Still, tears!

I want to exit the world with laughs. Now that is being different….but it is silly of me isn’t it to think this way?

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1 More Day To Eve Of Lunar New Year Of The Ox & Sombre Thoughts

So much unrest in Myanmar as the coup protestors are aggressively pressing on with a 3 finger signage. It is amazing how quickly they came up with a signage. I remember reading about the Hong Kong Protestors and how the Umbrella symbolize their cause – a black umbrella!

At age 75 years old, I do not know how Aung Yang Suu Kyi will overcome this. The price that people like Nelson Mandela and now Ms Aung Yang Suu Kyi goes through for the sake of democracy is admirable.

Then India was hit by a broken glacier.

In Lil Red Dot, we had our fair share of Covid controls. Unfortunately it was reported in the news that someone in the Singapore National Eye Center was administered with undiluted Covid-19 vaccine and was vaccinated with a dose equivalent to 5 times the normal dosage. Thankfully the person is ok after being hospitalised and observed for 2 days.

Meanwhile, we also opened the 4th desalination plant for our water supply. I am pleased with our government pressing on to ensure our adequacy of water supply and not be beholden to Malaysia for the Water Treaty as our one and sole singular “water tap.”

To minimise community spread, Chinatown light up will be shut from now till past New Year eve to prevent people from going there to see the lights and add to the crowd that is lining up to buy new year goodies.

The Chinatown market is also cordoned off with Safe Distancing Ambassadors to ensure that crowd control is ensured.

I like these measures as it is for our own safety and health good. Yes, yes, people say draconian but hey, better draconian than losing a loved one.

Mr Nice is keeping a low profile as his late father’s funeral took place on Sunday and he is now grieving the loss of his father. He was hoping that his father would have celebrated the last CNY with them as a family.

Mr Nice lost his eldest sister early in 2020 and this was followed by his late mum in April 2020 and now his late father in late January 2021.

I sincerely hope he overcomes his grief, he has to as this is life and part of life, is dying.

Easier said than done but what else can I say.

It is hard losing anyone in life but this is a path we can never avoid as we are mere mortals.

Stay healthy, stay happy and most of all, stay safe from Covid-19.

As for me, CNY or no CNY, it makes no difference really. If I am rich, everyday is a celebration. If I am poor, eking a living from mouth to mouth, day to day, CNY makes no difference.

May the homeless be sheltered and fed.

May the poor get respite and a meal to suffice their hunger.

May the world be faced with lesser disasters and may peace reign.

Most of all, may Covid-19 be eradicated.

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Truth

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Not All Rosy & Fine On Economic Front

It is not smelling of roses in the economic front in Lil Red Dot.

As Covid-19 pervades through our lives and sectors in F&B, Aviation and Construction being hard hit, the economy has slowed down.

Tourism is almost dead as no incoming tourists, local sights, touristy services, hospitality, F&B are all in the doldrums.

Covid-19 is destructive to normal lives and I am resigned to accept that life will never be the same or “normal” and that the “new normal” requires me to mask up (was told at least now at least 10 years before we can see some control of Covid-19 based on latest news report), limit self from mixing with different groups of people and living a life of a recluse.

I am ok with living in my own world. I have learnt to accept self and enjoy doing things on my own with of course my inanimate furball.

Besides the Goggle Box, slaving self over the laptop for work to get my pocket book filled, going to the stores for my daily essentials and looking at the weather to gauge if I can plonk my inanimate furball Garfield into the washing machine and if he will get dried by the sun rays else he gets stinky poo from molds for not drying properly.

Another highlight of my life would be chores – given my paws are hurting, I use a tiny 4×4 face towel as a rag to wipe my marble floor. It is tough work and that for now, is my only form of exercise.

I worry about things.

Will jobs still be there? Will I be able to survive this Covid-19 pandemic as a minion?

I know I could always be an employee of supermarkets doing stacking of shelves or something to be economically viable but I have a bag of bones issue and this may not be viable. But this is the most lucrative business and one local chain is giving as many as 17 months bonus for staff and part timers get 4.5 months of bonus!!

Life goes on….

Onward ho,

Is the way to go.

Yo ho ho,

life cannot be no go.

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My Personal Opinion Of Covid-19 Vaccine

I share this with light hearted humor and express my personal opinions after discussions with 6 specialists in medicine and people engaged in the procurement, administering and delivering of the vaccine.

By now, my dear readers would know that I yak alot! I also question a lot!

I am by nature inquisitive and always remember not to let it kill Garfield, who is a cat, albeit inanimate.

In my network of humans in high places and informed places, I listen, hear and form my own opinions. Again, I stress that these are my personal opinions, am not a White Coat and should never influence your decision for the vaccine.

Currently, Pfizer, is first to market with its vaccine “Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine”.

There are others such as Moderna, Sinopharm (China is developing 2 vaccines), Sputnik V (Russians) etc

Much time and money have been invested by the different pharma companies and governments to develop and trial these drugs. Why it can be done at breakneck speed is understood when WHO explained that much of the bureaucracy or hoops to jump through were simplified and approvals obtained. It does not make it any less safe or safer. It is the new normal. I now grimace that some cancer trial drugs took forever to reach the market and know that actually it could be done, but bureaucracy may have stalled it.

I can understand the rationale – if it is between the devil and the deep blue sea, the devil will suffice because people around the world are dropping like flies due to Covid-19. What is there to lose but win isn’t it.

But the problems do arise – just like any medicine, be it an antibiotic or cancer trial drug, there are side effects. It affects some, not all. If it affects too many, drugs will be pulled off the shelf.

I am an anomaly. What normal humans can take, I cannot. I have a record whopping 225 drug allergies (just added Ciprobay and Cravits). My Prof tells me that I am safest to take older drugs as it is more stable, because over time, the trials or recordings of side effects will have built good data for the drug to be stabilised and or re-formulated.

I had the opportunity to be in a dialogue last night with a core team of intelligent people who comprised bureaucrats, doctors and minions like me.

My Think Thot # 1

Trails are done on volunteers or patients in countries where different world ethnicities may not be possible. Hence Pfizer and Moderna’s warning on specifying safe for certain age groups and unsafe for those with certain conditions.

My Thin Thot #2

Herd immunity for the world will take a long while as production takes time and not every country can afford to buy it and this was why Lil Red Dot chipped in to pay for some countries who could not afford to buy or even get their hands on the various Covid-19 vaccines available

My Think Thot #3

Covid-19 will be around at least for the next 3 to 5 years. The spike going around the world, in USA, Europe, Brazil, India etc have forced countries to close their borders to try and contain it. But with the mutations, variants of Covid-19 have evolved. Will there be a constant chase for better vaccines? Definitely

My Think Thot # 4

The vaccine is not a magic bullet. Its efficacy is dependent on how it interacts with individuals who receive it. I would add to the catastrophe as whatever I take, I may keel over and die. I am a bad statistical anomaly. Other elements come to play such as maintaining hygiene, safe distancing, masking up and being disciplined on how we take care of our practises to manage Covid-19

My Think Thot # 5

Pfizer is the top leader of the pack now. They have developed good drugs like Klacid, Viagra, Piroxicam (Feldene) that have helped a lot of people. It will be good for them to trial more and across different ethnicities to gather tolerance and efficacy rates, especially with the new mutations.

My gut feel is we need the vaccine. It is the hope we hold. Key word, “hope” – given time, will we then only know the genetic changes if any it makes in us or long term side effects if any?

But when delivered in a pandemic, it is Hobson’s choice isn’t it?

If I were to be totally zen about it – my thoughts are, we will all go to the heavenly realm in one way or another. It is the Big Guy of different religions that decide isn’t it for its people?

Speaking of which, Mr Nice’s father passed away late morning of Thursday. His father’s passing was not unexpected and I felt it was the end of his suffering on life’s journey as his father suffered a stroke that robbed him of speech and all mobility plus battling stomach and lung issues. I felt it was a relief really.

I shared with Mr Nice not to mourn his father’s passing but to celebrate his life as at age 92 years old, his father had the love of all his children and grandchildren. He left a legacy for Mr Nice to fill and a thriving business to pass onto the next generation of leaders.

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