Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

A Scattering Of Leaves

The winds blow and leaves flutter,

Soon leaves will drift and scatter.

Onto playground matting leaves cluster,

Very soon onto drain gutters.

Our neighborhood cat watches the leaves as scattered,

Telling self, “I looked the other way – ain’t a mouse or canned tuna to me!”


Typhoon Mangkhut In Hong Kong

Mangkhut is Thai for “mangosteen”, the fruit.

As to why the MET has so named this super typhoon after a humble, harmless mangosteen fruit, befuddles me!

My friend, Herman, and ex colleague who lives in Hong Kong (HK) shared with me a video clip whereby the glass panel on a high rise unit shattered and the whole unit is ruined with broken shards of glass and the rain beating in with the strong winds. I pity that owner as the cost and clean up is going to be a pain on physical work as well as cost.

I have not heard from my bro just yet. I was told he had moved to his new home (actually on resale market) just yesterday, despite the threat of Typhoon Mangkhut overhanging. He has lived in HK for many decades now and I have no doubt he is smart about these things to stay safe, taping windows.

As to why they only tape an “X” also makes me wonder. Why not the whole glass panel? Is “X” really enough?

For the first time in 60 years, HK has raised Typhoon Signal 10 – the full force it seems!

I have lived through the experience of Typhoon 8  when I worked in HK some years ago and I was only on a 3rd floor apartment unit – it was not as scary as my friends and colleagues who lived on higher floors.

Philippines where Mangkhut has barreled through and already killed 14 people, is still causing destruction from the following rains post typhoon.

The world’s weather has gone bonkers. Florence has wreaked havoc in USA, forest fires else where and now Mangkhut.

Singapore or lil red dot’s weather is eerily calm. The sun is not seen and today, the winds have picked up. I have decided to close the windows as the howling winds are not helping and I worry if my windows fly off!

I have come to see the pattern of post typhoons weather after it hits Taiwan or HK and Singapore has lots of rain and stronger winds. I could do with cooler weather and rain!

Lil Red Dot is located on a continental shelf and we are safe from Tsunamis, earthquakes of typhoons. Given the last Tsunami following the earthquake in Indonesia that killed thousands, our lil red dot commissioned a study to see if our island and the resort isle of Sentosa would be affected like Phuket or Bali?

There was talk among netizens that Singapore would be sunk!

I was glad when the study showed that it will be a ripple in the ocean by the time it comes to us.

I guess over time, the weather will change again as what nature gives, man (generic term) will destroy though deforestation, over harvesting, wanton waste disposal of plastics etc.

I hope for the sake of mankind and its survival – the future of our future generation is at stake.

Let’s do out part and try to conserve through re-using, re-cycling and not waste anything, including food!


466 Days Streak For Posting On GarfieldHug

Like a child, I get so excited when I see these little badges appearing in my  inbox notifications for WordPress!

It seems I have posted non stop, 466 days in a row!

This means, no sick days, no nonsense excuse to miss a post. I remember when I knew I was to be hospitalized, I worked like a beaver to write and schedule my posts ahead so that when I was out of action, my voice is heard from beyond.

Frankly I did not know if I was going to live and it would have been so cool if my voice was heard from beyond the realm of death.

I am a freaky person if I want to be and a bit on the macabre side as the idea of me pre-scheduling sending of messages or posts after I am dead, would amuse me literally. LOL!

Anyway, I was out a mall today and bumped into MR EX.

He looked very old and haggard. He and I met when I happened to stop to awe over a toy model of a Mini Cooper with battery operated features complete with steering wheel and wheels. The price was $389. It would allow a toddler to sit in it and drive this car around.

It was in bright cherry red color.

I stopped to look at it as my nephew had a jeep when he was a toddler…a larger model and it cost my sister back then the sum of $700.

Kids these days were spoilt!

So much for using an empty milk can to kick about in the dirt for fun. These days it is Personal Mobility Devices or Hover boards or something or other to amuse the new Generation.

MR EX told me his sob story as we sat for tea. It would have been rude of me to put up a fight in public and so I trotted off with him.

He was not snide. Neither did he make jokes about my unwashed back side.

He was seriously down!

He shared that he bumped into his pastor and when the pastor told him it was ages since he last saw him, he poured out his woes and he said that he cried when talking to him.

I was told that I was the only one who knew the true story of his struggles and that he was struggling in life and that if he had a choice, he would leap off a building. Or if the jail scene was as comfortable as the Japanese one, he would commit a crime and be fed and clothed for the rest of his mortal life.

As I sat with him, I looked back at his life. How did he end up in this state?

He told me he was very much alone – again it meant that he and his wife were married in name sake. His 2 daughters were of no help to him with the eldest, almost near 30 years old still jobless and studying. His younger daughter could hardly support him.

I don’t know if I should pity or sympathize with him as it is hard to believe a perennial liar.

In the public limelight, he is Mister Big! The ultra rich! The mega sales man with lots of companies that were reaping in huge profits.

Anyway…he will forever be to me, MR EX and that is it.

I cannot trust him nor believe what he says.

I am bad I guess?



Meeting Board Members

Today I met with Monkey Lord’s bosses – the Board, comprising Chairman and 3 other board members.

My presentation was delayed from pre noon till 2.30pm and I did not dare go and have a quick bite as I was told to wait, as in standby.

I was famished but I held on.

Silly me, made self a cup of green tea in a styrofoam cup but only to have it spilt all over my linen white pants!

Gee…I have yet to present my slides and meet the Board and my attire is soaked with green tea!!

Off I scooted to the ladies to dry my blouse and pants by using the hand dryer.

Thankfully we have those powerful trough like dryer to slot hands in to blow dry. I put my blouse in it and it was blown dry. Luckily I wore a green blouse. Green on green was not obvious.

Finally my turn came.

In his mid 70s, Chairman has a wealth of experience and I was impressed with his comments and observations with Human Resources.

Chairman was a nice grandfatherly type chap. He wasn’t rude (*rumors from Money Bags implied Chairman was “unreasonable”)

Chairman was astute and commented on my role to help Monkey Lord in a strategic HR role. It was not about daily administrative stuff but the planning and coming up with great ideas to grow the talent pool.

He said that they waited patiently for me to join them and would like me to assist in coming up with incentives and plans to retain talent.

I am not Houdini but will try my best to get it done.

Thankfully they had salad for lunch and not pizza.

I ate my bread bun at 4pm…My lunch at 4pm left me too full to eat dinner at 7.30pm but hungry at 12.15am…sigh….FAT!!
*Peanuts meme is courtesy of the creator of Peanuts and Snoopy Gang, Charles Schulz.


Relatives – Like Them Or Hate Them

My parents’ relatives are not the best of relatives.

They do not visit my parents at all during any time of the year nor exchange pleasantries but will only come to announce “births, deaths or hospitalizations” I find this annoying!

Our Chinese custom is that on announcements of births, deaths or hospitalizations – money is exchanged as “gifts” to defray costs of the event. This is the sole purpose of announcements.

I have an idiotic cousin who takes it upon herself as Tribal Chief to announce these events and I am getting pretty cross with her as I look back and realized that none of these so called “relatives” bothered to visit my folks nor I when I was in hospital.

So why bother to keep coming to us to get “gifts” from my parents and inconveniencing my mum when she is so old.

I am not being selfish but practical. If anyone is so poor to be unable to afford a burial, I will gladly pay for it. But these relatives are well off and in “shady businesses of loan sharking” – this is the one that gripes me!

Yesterday poor mum was cajoled into making her to way to a hospital some distance away to visit an in law [More like an “outlaw”] who apparently developed hand cancer. This is the same sister in law of my mum whom my mum had helped during her youthful days to get medical attention to arrest Outlaw’s breast cancer in the 1960s.

My mum was not thanked nor did this sis in law of hers decide to visit my mum at any time from 1960s to present.

Tribal Chief is a dumbo and thinks as self elected tribal chief to organise these visits as it adds to her importance.

My mum has a spine issue and her arm hurts plus weak legs. Plus Tribal Chief made my mum pay for taxi to get both of them there.

On top of that, my mum had to present a “gift”  – fairly large sum to help defray the Outlaw’s medical bills.

I told mum it would be better off if she donated the money to a worthy charity as this Outlaw has money in loan sharking. Let her pay her dues as her family has made a living hell of those poor families who could not pay their borrowings and hefty interest payments.

I sound mean. But I am a realist and a practical person.

If anything happens to my mum and heaven’s forbid she tripped and fell en route to Outlaw, then what? I will be the one who has to be inconvenienced. Certainly not Tribal Chief nor the bunch of moronic “relatives” – heck, I cannot even rely on my own siblings to help me!

I hate it when Tribal Chief thinks she is acting smart. I ticked her off as she did not even bother to “organise” any visits to my parents nor I when we were laid up in hospital back then.

It is not the question of wanting to be visited. Heck no! When I was ill, I was glad for the peace and quiet instead of trying to stay awake to make intelligent conversations when all I wanted to do was to hug Garfield and sleep or complain to Garfield that I was in pain. Plus I do not need the cross infections of visitors who may have a sniffle or a bug and because of my compromised immune system when ill, get it and cause my doctors to hit the panic button.

it would be smarter to organise walks or something more cheery than to face the doom and gloom of “forced” hospital or wake visits.

Love comes from the heart. So does compassion and empathy. I am not one who believes in putting up charades to pretend that I care when I don’t care.

Care is or has to be reciprocated and I do know that I am not Mother Theresa of Calcutta nor am I up for nomination for the Nobel Prize!

Yes, I am selfish. Very selfish when it comes to the health and well being of my parents.


Stan The Plumber

Water cistern overflowing has been arrested!

I am grateful for good plumbers as these are gems that are hard to come by.

I have known Stan for years and somehow we clicked as pals and when I saw him today as he came by to fix the overflow, I realized how much he has aged.

He bemoans his poor memory as he tottered down to his van to collect a part to enable repair and forgot to bring another tool.

I told him to ensure that his memory stays good, to do puzzles. I do not want him to end up loopy as he needs to keep busy.

Stan works hard. He has a small business that is 2 man operated. When his assistant is not available, he works on his own.

With his sense of responsibility and hard working attitude, he has raised a family of 2 children and a wife.

I admire his ability to work hard and still keep his smiling face.

When I first met Stan, he was a struggling newbie. I called him based on an advertisement he took out in the classifieds. I gave him a job to fix the sink and found him to be meticulous and careful. What I liked most about him was that he left my premises clean and pristine. Others tend to leave the repair site messy!

As we chatted, his hands worked hard. He spent an hour, changing parts of the cistern and left after an hour.

I was happy to part with $90 as this was indeed a kind friendship price. Had I called on any other plumber, I would have been charged a minimum of $150!

This is the value of Stan towards our friendship, for which I am grateful.

I am happy that the toilet is working now and that I need not totter to another bathroom to use a facility.

Thankfully I have 2 toilets else, I would have been going back to the old days of using a pail to flush as I closed off the main valve!

Stan’s parting words to me were that he will always help me so long as he is around.

My reply to Stan was that may he live long and healthy – I would not mind giving him some of my living years. Life for me is enough and I do not need much longer years whereby he will need it more as he can serve a greater community.

Am I mad?

No, I am really sane. Life is not meaningful unless you can serve a greater good and not live selfishly.


Hissy Fit

I have been in a hissy fit with my folks.


Often times, I feel like I am not appreciated one bit, even though alot of things fall on my shoulders.

My dad is a difficult man. Though his brain is loopy, he can still remember to be mean to me. I am unsure about his heart but the words he utters (even when not loopy) is pure sarcasm and caustic.

When he was in good mental health and not forgetful, he was also not nice to me. He tends to play favorites with his other 2 children. I have given up on ever getting love from him.

Even in his loopy pre-demented brain or mild cognitive impairment state, he is not helpful nor will he try anything to help self. I am at my wits’ end really.

If I send him to go to the clinic on his own, he will throw away the medicines he get from the doctors. He has done this twice. This results in me getting more busy as I then have to re-take leave and fetch his meds!

But in terms of eating time, he never forgets. Ohhh..he loves his food and will always remember to eat by the clock.

So, I tend to feel that he has selective memory. He chooses what to remember and what to ignore. I wish he was not selfish and can help me with small little chores so that I can be relieved of some of the burden of chores.

I do not live with them just yet. But in time to come, I will have to and I dread the day as it means that my sanity will be at stake.

If I have to live with them, I will ensure that I keep my own unit (which is silly as I could rent it out for income) or get a good hotel rate such that when I need a space of my own to chillax and get away from a sarcastic old man, I will have that privilege to go to a place and sleep.

It is not easy growing old. I fully understand it but sometimes, if one does not help self, it is even tougher.

I will grow old too. When the time comes, I am worst off as I have no one to turn to. I can forget about siblings. I really need to earn and save enough for me to be able to have a decent living standard – not at poverty level and hope that Bird Man or S Man would once in a while drop me a call or text to see if I am alive.

I really do not want to die rotting away at home!


Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri To Muslims On Wordpress

In lil red dot today, muslims celebrate a special day after one month of holy Ramadan.

I warmly wish all muslim readers a happy hari raya celebration.

Today they will wear new clothes, visit families, friends and feast!

Yes…food such as festive cookies and snacks will be served.

I admire their ability to fast the entire month whilst at work. They must feast up to pile on lost weight haha!

As I have been swamped at work and not catching up with my folks, I made the effort to see them at 7pm last night, though I was dead tired.

I rushed from work to get a haircut for my ugly mop and forgot some documents I needed to do today and had to drag them to my office before we moved on to the airport for my dinner.

By the time I sat down to eat it was 9.30pm. Thankfully I told my parents to eat first before I picked them up as I knew my work schedule was erratic.

In the 2 hours at the airport, I managed to get groceries, eat dinner whilst my parents had desserts and their favorite apam (Indian rice flour pancake) with brown sugar and grated fresh coconut.

I also got dad a chendol, shaved ice with gula melaka (*palm sugar or brown sugar), coconut milk, sweet red beans, kidney beans and green starchy strands. His favorite.

I got mum barley gingko but she did not like it. I boo booed on this choice!

By the time I reached home it was 12.10am.

Though today is a public holiday, I worked the whole day from home.

Monkey Lord and the Board Members tasked me to deliver key performance indicators by 10 August for the entire company, develop an orientation for new board members with insight into last 3 years board papers, develop HR SOPs and policies and give an overview of current organisation structure.

On top of this I have a HR department to run for 160 staff located in 3 different countries.

I have not been this stressed in my entire life as targets are unreasonably short and I only have self plus another assistant.

Lots to do and I have to handle the difficult wife of a 38 year old staff who had a stroke from overworking.

Loads of clean ups and I hope I survive. I woke up puking my guts out from stress and had to drag self to work still.

I don’t know if I can survive this job as it is not a bed of roses. The thorns prick me badly and Monkey Lord wants me to prove self before considering more headcount for me as my last 3 HR head honchos did not survive 6 months. They left in 3 months.

Sigh…I have bad luck indeed! I hope the darn Gods will help me.


What Is Going On In Lil Red Dot?

I am relieved that the traditional rains have returned. It cooled off some areas and it is nice to have clean crisp air to smell after.

I am unsure if there is any truth in this but I personally feel that after a good rain fall, the air smells cleaner! LOL! Maybe it is just me, associating water with cleaning.

Lots of thought has been going through our government’s mind lately because with global warning, we have had flash floods that never happened before. Hence, the need to widen the Stamford canal and create connectors for the rain water to be diverted into our reservoirs and or in underground caverns. This way, we will also have a good water collection system for our daily usage.

Lil Red Dot is tiny and land scarce. By using the underground for electricity stations, gas and other utilities, it frees the surface for more things such as parks, housing and usable land area.

I wonder if in the decades to come, we will have an underground city? I visited Atlanta, Georgia’s underground city once whilst attending a forum and was really impressed at the amount of shops and vibrant life happening.

I visited the plant for Dr Pepper’s, Mountain Dew and its other labels as they had an area for visitors to their plant to taste the different drinks on tap there. It was fascinating.

The underground city was not stuffy nor claustrophobic as I supposed the whole area was air-conditioned. Lighting was normal, although the cobbled stones gave off a reddish hue.

As the world economy progresses, so does Lil Red Dot as we find smarter or better ways to get things done.

Our Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) *see photo I took below* system is an icon and serves us well. But with a new generation tracking system coming up, we will be getting satellite tracking of our road usage and this translate into chargeable road tax.

These ERP gantries are placed at locations where traffic is heavy and each entry can cost $0.50 to $8 per time depending on time of day usage. It can burn a hole in our pockets.

But it successfully curbs traffic jams.

For me who uses the road only to work and back, take my parents out for an outing or their doctor’s appointments and groceries, my usage of the road is negligible compared to those who run around doing sales or marketing.

I for one, should benefit instead of the current one price for all cars of the same litre size capacity.

Anyway, our government is curbing car population and so there will be ways to penalize us as car owners.

Someone has to pay else we cannot have a country…so we all do our part with taxes and levies etc. Such is life in our lil red dot and we are Singaporeans LOL!


Orange Man & Rocket Man #6 – Finale

I woke up at 2am this morning from the buzz of my cell phone.

It was a live news feed update saying the Orange Man and Rocket man will not meet at the summit in Singapore on 12 June 2018.

Sigh! It was too good to be true really. So much for a world peace opportunity between the two forces that I was hoping for. In fact, I think the world wanted a summit to happen although many felt that it would not happen.

Was it really the egos that tore this golden peace opportunity apart?

Or was Rocket Man unreasonable in that sentence which Orange Man quoted, that the “summit was requested by N Korea?”

Whichever or however we read it, we will never truly know as the rhetoric may be misunderstood or the agendas of both men are only truly known to themselves.

As for lil red dot, life goes on.

It is a shame that the much awaited summit did not happen and that the lil red dot could not play a role in fostering peace between the two of them.

Right now the tempers are flaring between Orange Man and Rocket Man, with citations of Rocket Man ending up as the Libyan Prime Minister being assassinated – Muarmmar Gaddaffi.

Sensitivities of men, generic for male and female genders, usually erupts in miscommunications and misunderstandings. Such is life I feel. It is all about relationships and how we interact with others, including family members.

I tend to be caustic with my 2 siblings as I gave up being the docile and ever on the receiving end sibling 4 years ago because I got fed up with their bullying and selfish ways.

I always told self that these were my blood relatives. But I have come to realise that despite the blood that course through our veins, there never was a sibling bond amongst us.

I gave up trying. I gave up being nice. I gave up being generous.

So, I can imagine when the weight of countries’ citizenry lies on the respective shoulders of Orange Man and Rocket Man, they each have their own perceived right to be selfish for their own “good” the way they perceive it and not how we perceive it.

As to if Orange Man’s threat will materialize, it is left to be seen. But if war breaks out, it will spell the doom of Asia and if nuclear fallout happens, for sure lil red dotters like me will be fried – not steamed nor broiled, but fried with nuclear radiation.

Are the doomsday predictors right? Are we in end times?

Sigh…..I fear of my inanimate furball Garfield’s life!