Friday, 4 September 2009

Fall Down, Go Crack

Our sweet little girl fell off a climbing toy at pre-school yesterday and managed to fracture her left arm, so we spent the evening at two different hospitals, seeing several doctors, taking a few x-rays, and calling in a specialist to put her arm in a half cast. We have to see him next week for a full cast, woohoo she’s going to like that., NOT! She doing okay, a little tender as expected and some things are just too much to handle. Lucas is trying to give her hugs and of course the cast on the arm is just too inviting not to be attacked, so we are trying to keep Lucas entertained and the cast arm hidden from his view, its working, some of the time but Lucas is just an inquisitive little guy and just wants to know what is hidden inside that magical cast, what goodie is big sister Isabella keeping hidden from him.
I'm not wired, I should have been in bed three hours ago

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

No, No, Don’t Buy a Car in Singapore

After nearly four years living in Singapore without a car, we have succumbed. I guess I just got sick of dragging the kids around in the rain and it does rain rather regularly in here, I guess that’s just part of the joy of living in the tropics with 30 degree temperature day in night out.

Anyhow back to the car, if you want to remain sane and not spend extremely too much for a car, don’t even consider buying a car in Singapore. I’ve been looking off and on over the past six months for a car, even checking out the auctions and let me tell you, car auctions here are not the place to pick up a car cheaply. I even saw some fool buy a year old car for more the he could have purchased a new one, way to do your research buddy! Mmmm maybe there were drugs or something stashed inside that made him go the extra dollars, or maybe it was just too many hits to the head. To get an idea of the price of cars here, at minimum you’ll be spending double what it would cost you in Australia, and sometimes as much as four times the price. This is partly due to the government controlling measures using taxes, more taxes and varying registration tax (the COE that goes up and down with demand as limited number are available each period). The other factor appears to be greedy car dealers. Based on costs and taxes, I figure on some cars the dealers are making upwards of 50% profit. For example the Mazda 3 2L Hatchback, in Oz the retail for A$25,000, in Singapore they retail for S$89,500 (A$74,000). So I’m guessing after importing costs and taxes and COE (registration) the car’s wholesale costing is no more then S$65,000 so that’s roughly S$25,000 profit of which they have to pay wages etc which can’t add up to very much for each car sold. In other words they are roughly making in profit what the car sells for in Oz, so I’m thinking greedy little buggers. Are car salespeople like real estate agents just dodgy the world over, willing to lie and cheat to get a sale.

Okay I know it’s another rant, I guess I’m just disgusted at the way car salespeople operate here, and in general the whole car industry here, maybe I’m just bitter and twisted as it is costing so much more than it should.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

The Boy Is A Walker

Little Lukie has been walking for a while now, but up until yesterday he had still favoured crawling, not so far to fall I guess! But yesterday and today he has mostly been walking everywhere, even for short trips like a few steps to pick up another toy. Isabella and Lucas were very different in their starting to walk days, Isabella started around 14 months, it was like she decided she wanted to walk and that was that, one evening she just stood-up and walked around the house, none of the building-up a few steps here a few steps there it was just a whole bunch of steps all around the house and she didn’t look back, good bye crawling I’m a walker now! Lucas on the other hand was a few steps here and a few more steps there, and more and more steps walking around the house but he would keep reverting back to crawling. He been walking / crawling like this for nearly two months now, however as I said the past two days now he has been mostly walking so I’m hoping the crawling faze has finished, crawling is so nasty on his clothes, then again Lucas in general is nasty to his clothes, why put food straight into your mouth when you can first squish it through your nice clean shirt, it works just like a sieve. Funny how kids can be very very different but at the same time nearly identical.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Money, What Money?

Isabella came walking out of her room today with a coin wallet in her hands, she walks up to me and asks for her money, my surprised response was,

‘Money! What money, do you have money somewhere?’

To which she replied,

‘Yes, up there on the shelf in daddy wallet’.

So just what are they teaching my little girl at preschool?

Things of no Reason

One day I was walking down the road and saw a man, a man I don’t know, a man I had never met or even seen before and a man I will most likely never see again, so I just kept on striding without a second consideration.

The End

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Did You Forget Something?

Did you forget something, what about that piece of string around your little finger, oh yes now you remember, it’s my birthday today and I’m waiting, waiting, waiting for your gifts to arrive, okay maybe not, how about a card? Okay maybe a phone call, what not even a lousy SMS? So now I know where I stand in our friendship! You realise you’re turning me into a bitter, delusional, hobbit! Okay maybe I’m a little tall to be a hobbit and I’m not really bitter, but as for delusional I just can’t refute that!

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Tiananmen Square Massacre – 1989 (aka June 4th or 6-4)

It’s been twenty years since the student / citizens protests in China, cumulating the in Tiananmen Square Massacre, in Singapore the media refer to it as the Tiananmen Incident, from what I’ve been reading lately in China its just not referred to at all, sounds like anyone that wants to make an issue of it there has to endure ‘re-education’ or relocation. It’s hard to believe that this would still happen in 2009. I guess I’ve just had a relative lucky and free upbringing. I’m starting to believe the old adage ‘Truth will prevail’ is a load of crock, the truth about the events leading up, during and after the 4th June 1989 will most likely never see the light of day, tit bits and disjointed information is all the world has to go on, well the world other the China. The Chinese people have next to no information regarding the ‘incident’, as for the government, who knows what they know, maybe nothing now, maybe the magic eraser has been waved. I guess because I’ve mentioned ‘Tiananmen’ & “Massacre” in the same space the Chinese Internet Police, suggested to number between 30,000 and 40,000 people have already blocked my blog from reaching their shores. This may be a dream job for some, spending all day surfing the net under the guise of working. There I go again, distracted the by pretty flashing lights and forgetting about my rant.

Back to it, I’ve read much over the past few weeks, conflicting information too. Some suggest the ‘massacre’ didn’t happen in the Square but on the roadways leading to the Square, from some of the images and footage I’ve seen this is partly true, that is shooting and the tanks rolling on over did happen outside the Square but by the looks of other images and footage it also happened in the Square, and it must be a damn big square to make all those tanks look so small. Speaking of tanks, it was the ‘Tank Man’ that started me on my little rummage around for information. Tank Man for those who don’t know is the one of the names given to the guy that blocked the passage of a line of tanks travelling alone Chang'an Avenue (the Avenue of Eternal Peace) on the day after the ‘incident’, see picture below. The tanks tried to go around him but he again moved into their way, at one stage he even climbed onto the tank and appeared to be talking to the solders. Eventually he was taken away by either concerned civilians or as some suggest by the secret police. Either way he has never been (publicly) heard from again, executed or in hiding the mystery goes on. He may even be alive and not know that he is famous as images and footage of these events are usually stoped from reaching China. As for the images and footage of this guy, none ever captured his face adding to the mystery.
Tank Man - lone citizen vs. PLA tanks, Tiananmen Square, 1989
(Jeff Widener - Associated Press)

It is sad to read that many people shot where actually inside their homes at the time, apparently as the APC (tanks) rolled towards the Square there was indiscriminate shooting into the surrounding, which happened to include people homes / apartments, there is even footage of and ambulance going to the aid of the injured when it too is shot up and crashes. In the end the official death toll for the ‘Incident’ was 241, the Chinese Red Cross initially reported there were at least 2600 dead, but I understand the government encouraged them to reassess this figure. Non-official sources indicated the death toll range was from about 1000 to 7000 and as many as 30,000 injured. Our history, even our relatively recent history has unfortunately provided the world with many massacres, last years I was reading with disbelieve about some of the massacres, mass killing and ethic cleansing that have happened in Africa, principally I was reading about Rwanda and Darfur (Sudan), how can people hate others so much, even when they don’t know them personally just because they are from a different clan or religion or on the wrong side of the government!

For those interested, this is a good but long video report of the Tiananmen Square Incident, (running time, 52 minute, produced by SBS).
Here is another site for videos on this incident.
For those interested in reading some more about the whole ‘incident’ try this link.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Photo's from Lucas' Birthday

Wrapping Paper, Give Me More

Ha Haa, More Wrapping Paper

Mmmm, Cake, I Like It!

Is That Cake For Me?

Hello I'm Bob the Builder

Lucas is One Today

The Spudsters turns one today, our little rolly polly boy isn’t so rolly any more, he’s actually slimmed down over the past six months but he still weights in around 11 kilograms, about the same weight he was at eight months old. He’s more active these days, even walking some, nice change to the barrel roll he mastered before he could crawl, speaking of crawling he’s decided his favourite style is commando crawl and he is surprising quick at time. He’s getting rather tall, standing in now at about 81 centimetres. He is also sporting four teeth; all four are front and centre, two up and two down, perfect for biting things like my big toe and his highchair armrest.

Lucas’ Grandma and Grandad (also know as my parents) came to visit and celebrate his first birthday along with my cousin and her family, and yes the two relatively quiet three years olds went berserk just like at Isabella’s birthday. Spud seemed to have fun for his birthday, he’s thinking cake might be worth trying again and he loved playing with his new toys and making noise. Our kids have way too many toys; we could have a room just for toys. Better still maybe we can find a charity that could put them to good use.

P.S. Ours kids don’t need any more toys at the moment, or any stuffed animals, teddy’s etc. All they need is the love of their family and friends and maybe some sugary goodness!

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Disgusting Habits No 1 - Chewing Gum

My parents arrived for a week’s visit yesterday so I decided to catch the MRT (train) to the airport to meet them, and a saw the strangest and rather revolting thing on the train. Some guy was chewing gum, and he was chewing it like the typical image many have of Americans chewing gum. I had this barely controllable urge to reach out and slap him and make him spit it out. It just seemed revolting to see, I keep trying to change my line of vision so he wasn’t in it, thankfully somebody ending up standing between us blocking my view. You just don’t see people chewing gum in Singapore, mostly because it illegal to have here unless it is for medical reasons (I assume this means anti-smoking gum is okay). Don’t get me wrong I see chewing gum can be good for you mouth and breath, but why oh why do people insist on chewing like a cow, cows need to chew the cud, unless your gum tastes like grass, don’t chew like a cow!

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Isabella's Birthday Photo's

Isabella & Lochie Playing Around

I Love Sticker Books

Woohoo Pens & Colouring Books

Isabella’s Third Birthday

Our little girl turns three today, they seem to grow so very quickly compared to us of the taller stature. She speaks rather well, with better English dictation then I with the likes of ‘may I please have a (insert sugary goodness item here)’ but other time its just ‘I want, I want (sugary goodness)’. Yes I know for a three year old, sugary goodness is there food lifeline. Isabella had a nice time playing with her friend Lochie and her cousin Holly who is also three, and boy oh boy two relatively quiet three year old girls can become noisy monster very quickly, which had something to do with the above mentioned sugary goodness!

For those interested Isabella is weights nearly 13 kilograms and is 95 centimetres tall!

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Saturday, 25 April 2009

ANZAC Day - Dawn Service

I decided to head out to the ANZAC Day Dawn Service this morning with a relative who has just moved to Singapore. What a huge turn out Singapore’s Dawn Service has makes me proud to be Australian; it’s the biggest group of Aussies and Kiwis I seen together excluding when the Wallabies are beating, oops playing the All Blacks. War might be a lousy thing but it is good so see people paying respect to those that have died in the service of their country. It’s held at Kranji War Memorial / Cemetery, its so sad to see all the graves of unknown solders and that so many of the fallen were so young, many just teens or those in their early twenties.
I’ve taken a bunch of photo so I’ll upload some later, assuming they turned out okay in such poor light

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Oops Earth Hour - Damn Annoying Google

So who remembered ‘Earth Hour’ last night, we forgot but strangely about 8:45pm I happened to turn off the lights and left them off for the rest of the night. It was this morning reading the paper that I realised that we part of ‘Earth Hour’ by default. Woohoo a little green without effort (or thought)! It’s not hard to be a little greener by switching off electrical devices, lights etc, however I still find it hard to switch off the computer when I’m not using it, guess I just like the convenience of it being on so I can check my mail, read the news and generally just for searching or checking things out.

Speaking of searching I’m looking for a good search engine, Google just frustrates me these days with its relatively useless security feature that I assume is to stop ‘bot’ searches. I regularly get this damn security page asking me to enter the character shown in the blurry box and I usually find that I’m not sure what one of the character are, so I type zero instead of o, or I instead of l so the damn security pages shows its ugly face again. I guess Google going to join my list of discarded search engines, some of which have disappeared without a sign, some still linger in murkiness that we know as the net. AltaVista is still around but I believe Yahoo owns it now, Wombat’s still around if you like the Aussie thing. As for Gopher from my Minnesota days, I’m not sure. There is a Gopher search engine but it doesn’t seem to be the true ‘Gopher’. And there was Inktomi, but I really just liked this one because of its name and connection to Native American mythology (most commonly spelt as Iktomi in relation to mythology). I vaguely remember some search sites from my undergrad day, ‘Dog Pile’ and ‘Ferret’ pop to mind and again I think I just liked the names.

Oh who should I use for my internet searches, out with Google in with ???. Maybe I’ll try this new look Gopher or search out the new site, unless they all appear to be a dog pile, then maybe I just use dog pile. It’s a shame dog pile isn’t where Google is, it would much funnier to say ‘dog pile it’ then ‘Google it’.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Lucas is 8 Months Old Today

Well our tubby little bubby is 8 months old, and he’s only about a kilogram lighter than his sister who is two years his senior. Isabella likes to push Lucas around, knock him over, drag him around the floor by one arm, sit on him, pinch him and generally share the love with him. Yet he seems to love it! We try to discourage Isabella’s ‘love hurts’ approach yet we seem to be failing. If Lucas keeps growing at his enhanced rate I’m guessing the tables will be turned by the time Lucas is 18 months old, I’m thinking Isabella’s not going to like the ‘love hurts’ approach when she is the recipient.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Happy Australia Day & Gong Xi Fa Cai

Okay Aussies get out there and have a barbie today, from what I’ve read the Ozone hole is starting to seal-up and some scientist are worried about the bad effects this change might have for the environment, so I’m calling on all Aussies to spark-up the BBQ and rummage through the garage for old CFC propelled spray cans to help widen the Ozone hole again. (Please note, this suggestion might be ill-advised and strangely sound like something that would normally sprout forth for the mouths of politicians).

Also today we would like to wish those celebrating the Lunar / Chinese New Year a Gong Xi Fa Cai or Gong Hei Fat Choy (for Cantonese speakers). Enter the year of the moo moo, okay Year of the Ox, though year of the moo moo sounds more enjoyable.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Happy New Year

A warm welcome to 2009 to you all, well it is in Singapore were the year round temperature stays around 30 degrees Celsius. We had a nice visit with family and friends in Australia over the Christmas period but it is nice to be back in our own abode, as living out of suitcases isn’t much fun especially with young kids.