Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

Thursdays Are Office Work Days

Working from home (WFH) has actually made me rather happy. I only need to go into the office when summoned or designate one day a week to be there at my so called desk.

WFH may result in me working longer hours, but it allows me the flexibility to get laundry done and chores done during my lunch breaks. This is a boon.

But I am disciplined not to skive and no TV time either.

Some of my colleagues may be doing their own errands and not necessarily be seated at a desk at home but out doing their own things. I do not blame them as who is there to spy on them?

Monkey Lord is not oblivious to it as he feels that the majority of people are not working. It is easy to be suspicious of WFH but the end goal as I feel, is the outcomes delivered.

Frankly, I know that our Lords work us hard, not because they direct it but the nature of the business.

It is fast paced and things happen very fast.

New projects may happen.

New requirements for Covid management measures can be announced and I have little lead time to grasp the intent and blast it out one email. I learn on the go.

The words, new normal is real.

What was pre Covid normal is no longer normal.

The new normal is challenging and requires any minion to be on the ball as they say to catch up on new legislations, safe distancing measures, how to hire and fire personnel and how to manage the changes.

I call it fiddling about, reading up – truly Google is the best relevant teacher and the student must discern and read from authoritative sources.

The workscape has changed so much. Companies are reducing work spaces and cutting down on rental of office premises.

It augments the reality of a digital world and we have a department doing nothing but digital delivery of solutions. Drones for checking works on a building, 3D rendered architectural plans so that as and when we want to remove a wall or add a new one is possible.

I need to stay relevant with this digital world, else I will become a dinosaur and I am glad that I am coping as best as I can. Software skills is something I just have to learn on the go as programs change ever so quickly,

How are you coping in the new digital landscape and working from home?

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Some Laughs To End My Monday Night

I am glad my Monday ends in under 12 hours to midnight Tuesday morn.

Today was stressful, with family drama. I wish I don’t have all animosity with my siblings who do not understand the stressors I face being the sole caregiver to 2 elderlies with challenges in mobility, dementia and hearing impairment.

I told one sibling off. If after our parents are dead and buried, and they don’t wish to connect as siblings, I am fine with it too.

Afterall, neither sibling has ever been kind or generous with their care about my well being.

Geeze…they are never around and so, I don’t see any major difference to this fake sibling relationship. Afterall they are never around for their parents, I would not dare fathom a thought that they would care for a sibling, totem pole notches down their supreme parents.🙄

I really hate them. Sorry I am lashing out as I am tired and burnt out from taking care of my parents without let up from job responsibilities nor giving self any choices of doing anything I like.

It has just been a lousy Monday and I do not see any let up.

I sometimes wish that I am better dead than alive as I am living as a zombie doing things for others who selfishly just take, leaving me without choices in life…..such are my family members.

It just tires me out as I want it to end. Or if they want my life to end, I am fine with it too.

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Saturday Dinner Surprise By Neighbor

Usually Neighbor’s kitchen is closed on weekends.

But I got a text from her that she will be sending me dinner for tonight.

1st Course Soup

Vegetarian soup made with carrots, mushrooms, white cabbage and lotus root.

Main Course

Korean Dish with Budok and bringjal

Sides

Cucumber pickles with garlic
Dried mushrooms

Dessert

Pineapple cake & apple cake from Taiwan

It was simply delicious!

It is very nice to be included for her daily meals…I appreciate her kindness!

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Rainy Sunday, Rainy Thoughts Of Mortality

The rains have not stopped since Saturday and I am enjoying the cool temperatures of 24C. From usual balmy muggy 33C and 34C, I am happy as I can curl up under the covers, with my inanimate furball Garfield for warmth, in my little aircon room with temperature set at 22C.

I like the cold and will dread sleeping without the air conditioner as I am one that needs the cold to thrive.

Last night, it was reported that a 24 year old Boeing 737 crashed in Indonesia. Indonesian Sriwijaya Air plane crashed after take-off with 62 aboard from Jakarta. It is just too sad. I have enclosed the link if you want to read more about it. Doubtful for survivors if any as it crashed into the sea. Mystery behind it was that it veered off course and the next thing we read is that, it crashed.

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/sriwijaya-air-indonesia-plane-lost-contact-jakarta-pontianak-13926896

I heard more bad news that Mr Nice’s father was admitted into ICU as his father’s platelet count was dangerously low. Mr Nice’s father suffered a stroke early last year and is now, incapacitated in bed. I sincerely hope that his father has continued quality of life and not suffer too much. In his heart, I am sure Mr Nice is mentally prepared that his father may not last very long.

I sincerely hope at least his father recovers to spend Chinese New Year with his family.

Life is fragile and these events constantly remind me of mortality of each human. My parents are old too and I am mentally preparing self for the day when they no longer can be with me and how will I manage the closure, giving them a final curtain call.

It is often said that those suffering is easier to bid farewell too whilst sudden death is hardest as there is no closure. I live each of my day ensuring that there is closure between me and my parents. Morbid? Nah, I believe in being candid and I have trained my parents well so that we have no regrets either way.

I could go first, before them but either way, I want to ensure transparency and doing to the best of my ability.

My only regret is that I will leave my inanimate furball Garfield behind as I have not decided if I should cremate the bugger with me or he is left intact to be interred with me in my niche. It is a 2 roomer, so there is space for him. Seems like a shame to “kill” him – I should let him live as he has that right!

Aaah well, I better find some laughs as the wet weather has dampened my spirits and I just finished computing my income taxes. Not a happy camper now! LOL!

Till my next post ——laughter will resume.

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Letting Goooooooo….

Nope, this post has nothing to do with romantic love or me breaking up with anymore. I have no one to break up with LOL!

But it is about my favorite 3 pair of shorts.

After I graduated from high school, I took on a part time job that paid me an allowance to buy things I needed whilst waiting to be admitted to the university in USA. In those days, snail mail and it took ages for me to be accepted into an overseas university.

So to while away time, I worked.

I was so happy to get my paycheck as it was like so much money to me for one out of high school!!! I was suddenly rich!

Off I went to Lucky Plaza, supposedly the hip happening place of my time back then whereas today it is a little Filipino town where all the Filipinos would gather to eat, shop and patronise their own home goods.

I chanced upon a sports shop that sold Adidas brand of sports goods. I selected a pair of shorts that I liked in a unique purple color that was going for a song at SGD10 per pair. It was in the bargain bin and I thought to myself that it was probably not saleable as a result of its purple color. Girls like pinks or pastels but I went for it as I like the functionality of it and the fabric, which was comforting, a bit like fleece but not exactly fleece.

I found the last 3 pairs and bought all 3 for SGD30. Boy it felt good to pay with cash in those days as cash was king and still is king! LOL!

I have used these 3 pairs on a rolling daily basis. Wash and wear, weather permitting I was never without it for home use to lounge in.

Decades later, this is the best investment as the 3 pairs are worn thin and still being worn as I refuse to let it go as it is so comfortable. I have sewn the seams when it fell apart and now it is showing me that it probably is on its last leg of shelf life.

So last week, when I took my folks out for lunch on my day off, I found a pop up shop selling garments and again the bargain bin attracted me and I found again the last 3 pairs of grey shorts in a 90% similar fabric but in grey. It’s brand is “UMC Life Without Limits” and this is imprinted on the left of the shorts where the left leg goes into.

Will it give me another decades of use till I croak? I hope so as I really do not like shopping. If so, it will be another worthy SGD30 investment for me again….

How the world turns and given that decades ago, SGD10 would be worth a lot more, plus it was an Adidas apparel and today’s current purchase at SGD10 without a branded sports apparel name, I would say – inflation!

Happy trails in my new set of 3 pairs of shorts once my old comfy shorts expires and leaves for the rag bin.

I am admittedly weird, don’t you think?

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Tuesday Natter

As a person managing human issues at work, I try to be humane.

I also try to be understanding. But sometimes, the greed or mindset of people annoys me.

I cite an example.

A minion approaches Monkey Lord and says he wants to grow his career and would like to be posted in another land that is 1hr away by flight. Minion comes from this land that he is seeking to be posted back to.

So I sit down and try to figure out his “ask”

Yes, I am familiar with Adam Smith and that everyone has selfish needs. But truly, this “ask” of minion takes the cake!

I created a compensation package that made him no worst off. This means, we equalised his taxes, gave him allowances for car, housing, meals and performance bonus equivalent to about SGD400,000 per year, additional one month’s wages for every year, school fees for his 2 children to be in an expatriate school with international baccalaureate offering.

This land that he wants to post back to, his point of origin is not a country that is hard to live in and in fact inflation is not high, he will get to live there at half the price of living in Lil Red Dot at the same or better salary than in the new land.

His total package per annum excluding performance bonuses would have given him almost SGD200,000 per annum excluding an additional SGD60,000 per year for children’s school fees. I did not cave to his request for 2 cars. Even my ex boss of a big world class company did not get the perks that this little tyke was asking!

The deal breaker was when he asked for his wife to paid half of his salary. She is not our employee. Minion asked us to be creative and call it Hardship Allowance or whatever, so long as she gets half of his wages!

Ransomed? Monkey Lord was cool. He replied NO, this was non negotiable.

I believe we all can be greedy and ask for the sky but really, this was a tad too much and I am glad the deal fell through because we could have hired a top gun locally at a fraction of his cost.

Moral of my little tale here is that if one seeks to grow one’s exposure and career, there must be sacrifices to be made too. It cannot be the case that the company pays for everything and still, it is not enough as the spouse was not paid a salary to go.

In frankness, the wife was not even working and her skillset was not up to speed for local hire in lil red dot. So when her contract ended, she was made redundant. I offered advice to Minion that his wife can seek employment in the New Land too and there was nothing stopping her from working.

Life moments never ceases to amaze me really.

I am a poor negotiator for self as I did not ask for a lot of things as I took it in stride that I am never afraid to be able to work self up. It will be bad if I asked for the sky and failed to deliver isn’t it?

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Catching Up On Things

Finally I have caught up on reading blog posts of people I have followed. Sorry if I have been late as I have been busy, not from festivities but actually from work and personal matters.

I often ask self, why is life so hectic?

Surely there must be more to life than bills, work, chores, doing things that need to be done instead of doing things I like.

I was reflecting on university days. Life was so simple back then – assignments, tests, dead week and finals. Then it was laundry, getting groceries and daily meals.

My only worry was dead week and finals!

Now with work, it is unending projects, people management, decisions on wage increments, making a case for hiring, salary benchmarking and all sorts of silly nonsense that revolves around humans. Conflict management often conjure up images of me putting them in the boxing ring and letting them box it out or I beat them up till they see the light of day! *This is only in my figment of imagination, I am not violent in nature, just a fan of boxing and watching too many action movies!* But hey, in the army, they resolve conflict this way amongst mates.

Yes, humans create the most issues. Androids only get low battery and does what is programmed to be done, unless cyber hacked. Then it could go berserk!

It boils down to human emotions – yes, us humans are emotive and with it, comes anger, frustrations, expectations and before one knows it, it is the process of LIFE!

I am unafraid to say that I do get angry easily, especially when managing imbeciles or people whom I know are toxic and out to hurt or harm me emotionally. I can literally slam lemon pies at MR EX for his greed for wealth and lack of human empathy or compassion. He only gives empathy when his image can be splashed on marketing collaterals to put him on a pedestal of Godliness!

I try to see the good in people. But it is hard when I see them do a 365 degree spin without remorse.

Is life about getting to know the Joneses, rubbing shoulders with who’s who to get ahead, the chase for the wealth that one wishes to gain, to win, to be a leader of the pack?

I read in the papers this morning about how a local trio of brothers, led by eldest who dropped out of school at age 15 to be a hawker. Today, he and his 2 brothers, own Fei Shiong Food Empire worth SGD150 million.

Who says, one needs an education to get ahead? But then again, how many will have the street smarts to do this and or luck to carry it through to achieve this?

The other one I see making good is Sheng Siong Supermarket, whereby the founder started out as a pork seller at the wet market and turned his business into a business that is now public listed and worth millions. He too, did not have a degree from Harvard or Oxford or Yale!

So, is education important? It is to me for the basics ie the ability to read, write and understand contracts or to achieve life’s daily needs. No need to aspire to get degrees, or even a master’s or a doctorate!

A doctorate is important for those who wishes to excel in research or be a college professor. Otherwise, the focus on basic education say 12 years plus continuous learning of skills set is to me, more lucrative and effective in the working life.

The world is so short of electricians, plumbers and tradesmen. A generation of gamers, pen holders and little street smartness dominates the population and I am beginning to see lawyers giving up their jobs to be hawkers and sell baked goods, pasta etc.

I have had a life of challenges. I am not an entrepreneur and went to college, to strive for the degree. I had to fight with family to get funding for my education when compared to my eldest sibling who took it with ease but later decided to be a home maker. What a waste of good finances and I always ask the question, if she was disinterested in studies and refused to work, why study in the first place and instead would have the basic education to get by in life. Anyway, zero economic returns to the investment my parents made for her education.

Yes, life is tough.

It is so tough that I decide to languish in my silly child like behaviour to hug inanimate furballs and adapt to the challenges of a working life and fight medical ailments.

I have no time to feel sorry for self as life goes on, no one is going to give me a handout and clearly, my family of siblings will not be there for me if I need it. Heavens forbid if ever I need help that I need to call on them. They do not make selves available for their own parents, and so I must be realistic that I am even further down the totem pole of relationships food chain.

2021 – I am none the wiser, none the richer but having 6 new inanimate Garfield furballs to the family!

Yes, I can be a loon too.

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Enjoying My Neighbor’s Cooking – One Month & Counting…..

Neighbor lives several floors down in my pigeon hole block. She usually parks her car next to mine in the basement carpark and often I would bid her good morning or good evening. That was all.

In the little snippets of interactions we have had over the years, it was “oh you just got home and how are you?” or “just got home?” from me and her replies would be usually, “just finished social work” or “going to class” or “yes, just finished doing marketing”

A month ago, when I bumped into her, she saw me with both hands in braces for my painful swollen hands and she asked how was I coping and I told her painful especially when doing chores or getting meals done.

Without thinking, she immediately said that she would share food with me. It would not be an issue for her and she is not looking to be paid for it. I was hesitant as something to receive and not reciprocate worried me. I tried telling her that I would be happy to pay her for her time, trouble and cost of the food.

She refused. Before I know it, I would get daily dinners sent up to me, piping hot and delicious too.

Neighbors roast beef salad served with light olive oil and chunks of cut fresh apples. I added tiny tangerine wedges with it and it gave me the tanginess I liked. I do not usually take beef as it is sometimes too “gamey” for me but the way she treated the roast, it came out perfectly tasty. The plate I used is one that I exchanged after getting supermarket bonus points!
Another dish Neighbor sent up to me was “fish chowder” – again, I do not usually take creams and salmon but to waste her efforts, I tried it and it was acceptable and the salmon was not too bad. I do not like eating salmon as fish meat to me is usually white in color and the pinkish colors does not entice me to buy it on my own as I do not know how to manage cooking salmon.
Neighbor cooked this for me on New Year 2021 Day Lunch ! I loved this dish as it came with piquant Nasi Lemak Rice (rice cooked in coconut milk) with slivers of roast belly pork, organic buckwheat tempeh (soy based food but she substituted it by using buckwheat) and stir fired “Kai Lan”. I loved this dish as it was really delicious. Maybe it was because I am a pork fan!
For New Year’s Day dinner, Neighbor cooked fish curry made with yoghurt and not the usual coconut milk for good heart health and served with below image of Basmati rice with a side of beans & cashews.
This was the steak dinner Neighbor cooked for me for Christmas Day complete with the right doneness for the steak.

Yes, I am blessed with Neighbor’s generosity and time to prepare each meal with thought, creativity and plating techniques. In return, I got her small presents and sharing of fruits, cookies and snacks.

It was the least I could do to thank her for preparing each meal for me on a daily basis with minimal kitchen closure days on weekends when she has to attend to her grandsons, ages 2 and 4 months old.

Her kindness reminded me on the old adage of giving is better than receiving and I do thank the heavenly realm for sending me this lovely gift.

I can only continue to keep her in my thoughts and wish her the best of health and constant happiness she derives in sharing food and her cooking with me. For a lady in her late 60s, she looks young and happy – I would like for her to continue to enjoy youthful thinking, good health and happiness always.

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Wishing All At WordPress…..Happy 2021

2021, may it be Covid-19 free.

2021, may those who lost jobs get re-hired.

From the land of Thor, a powerful wish for all my friends on WordPress to usher in 2021!

2021, may those who lost loved ones heal over time.

2021, may we all keep good health.

2021, may all our pets, animate or inanimate…continue to give us warm hugs and stay by our side.

2021, new life springs forth, giving parents a newborn to love, nurture and grow.

Happy 2021….folks!

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Looking Back At 2020 – Why I Need Laughter

2020 has not been a good year for a lot of people as Covid-19 was created in Wuhan, China and went around the world spreading to all continents, including Antarctica.

Businesses collapsed for many as footfall fell with imposition of Circuit Breaker for 2 months and Lil Red Dot saw the loss of many famous eateries closing, karaoke lounges, drinking holes etc.

People I know, lost family members in 2020. With Covid, no wakes for friends to offer condolences as isolation was key.

For myself, I was in hospital as usual and was loaded with a lot of work that I am still trying to clear. Year end has not reduced my work load as Covid safe management measures fell under my territory of work jurisdiction.

Last night saw the lifting from 5 people to 8 people to meet and I saw many people out there with groups of 8 having dinner or lunch. Still, there are some who are cautious and I prefer to be cautious too as it would be silly to throw caution to the wind and a second wave of Covid-19 comes at us.

I had a lovely lunch with Mr Nice and we supped at The Peranakan Place located at Claymore, within the Orchard Hotel Mall. It was crowded but well distanced tables, we did not have crowds around us. We were told to check in using our Trace Together App and sanitize our hands before being escorted to our table by the hostess.

I did not take any photos of the food as I am still familiarising with my new cellphone. I had to switch as the old phone’s battery was not performing well.

I took on a mobile plan and had to pay SGD500 for the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5 G. 3 camera lenses but I find that the resolution of the images are less better than my old Galaxy 9+S. Or maybe I have to get use to it. Anyway, it is self treat for my own Christmas present haha!

Too many bells and whistles for the new cellphone as all I really need is for text messaging, emails, photo taking and using it for WordPress.

Laughter is lacking in a lot of people’s lives.

When I was with Mr Nice, I realised how much stress he experienced when he received 32 text messages during lunch hour that his father was unwell. His father is totally incapacitated due to a massive stroke and requires feeding through a tube. He is lucky that he has the support of his brother and 2 sisters. His loss this year of his eldest sister and mother has left him sanguine about life and he shared that as sojourners, journey on and when our time is up, we take our leave. There is nothing to stop it as that is life.

When I compare time spent with Mr Nice versus MR EX, I see a totally different world.

MR EX only chases wealth and to hell with the rest of the world.

Mr Nice does not want to chase wealth and lives within his means, taking care of others, including me. He would help me with groceries and seeking out things that I need to buy.

2 men, both are like chalk and cheese.

I have takeaways globules of wisdom from Mr Nice always and leave feeling at peace whereas if I supped with MR EX, I leave with so much bitterness and unhappiness as I see the ugliness in his character.

But who am I to judge. Maybe MR EX is nice to those he values and love.

Live, love, laugh.

Laughter will lighten our load,

It removes all people who act like toads.

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