Friday, September 30, 2011

More naughty behaviour from the rabbits

In an earlier entry, I wrote about rabbit communication. I forgot to add one more way in which rabbits get their message across:

I wanted to get the rabbits to eat more greens, for their own good. Unfortunately, the furballs don't seem to like vegetables. I tried giving them bokchoy. They left it untouched. Beansprouts, and the rabbits back away in horror. Thinking that they might prefer something crunchy, I put some cucumber in their cage, lovingly peeled and chopped. The rabbits lost their temper and showed me just what they think of me and my vegetables:  

Bowl tossed and overturned, cucumber trampled into the hay

Whitty, "Do we have to make ourselves any clearer?"!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Financial Tsunami

Market meltdown. Take cover. Breathe. Watch. Gold prices crashing. Does it mean we can get a cheaper wedding band soon?

Everywhere is like Home

A conversation between V and me

V - V
M - Masterofboots

V: We should go on a date. We haven't for a long time. Let's go and watch Johnny English
M: Ok, where do you want to go?
V: How about Vivocity?
M: Wouldn't traffic there be very bad? We might as well go to NEX.
V: NEX is like next door! What kind of date is that?
M: But what's the difference between Vivocity and NEX? They are equally huge malls.
V: True...and they have cineplexes...
M: And the same restaurants...
V: And roof-top gardens...
M: And they both have Pet Safari as well. We have no reason to go to Vivocity anymore.
V: But it is so near home! What kind of date is that?
M: Is it less of a date if we only go next door?

Urban planning - making everywhere feel like home.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Goodbye Borders

A sign still unremoved offered membership, and the only catch was, this is the last day Borders opens its doors for business.

Years ago, while backpacking in England, I made the point to enter every bookshop I saw, and my backpack got heavier with each town I visited. But times changed and so do people. Being one of those who happily left bookshops for the Kindle, I suppose I play apart in the demise of Borders. I cannot remember the last time I bought paper books. Isn't it ironic that not too long ago Borders was still vilified as Big Business which drove smaller shops into extinction. Yet it does not escape the forces of progress.

I feel vaguely sad that part of our landscape has altered inrecovably, again. But would I have wanted to buy more books just to keep the industry alive? I doubt so.

Goodbye, Borders.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Feisty Double

Rabbits have been naughty again, and you go, "what's new?" They trashed up their litter box thoroughly and scattered the contents all over their cage. The worst thing about a rabbit is, you can't discipline it. If you scold or punish  them, they won't even know what you are doing it for, and will just see you as a Big Bad Guy, and run away from you forever after.

Here they are eating up their furniture. I've ordered a new house for them. As usual, Whitty is the alert one, checking to see what I'm doing with the camera, but Blackie is totally absorbed with the tasty wood.

Even naughtiness needs to take a break. It's hard to remain angry with them for long when they are so cute.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


That day our small party of 4 had to pay $18 just to satisfy our craving for BBQ sambal stingray, then I thought, what can be so difficult about grilling fish? Mind you, stingray is such cheap fish too.

At home, I tried to replicate the dish, but well, as you can see, I'm not even using stingray :P couldn't find it anywhere in the supermarket. It doesn't seem like such common fish after all. I got a slab of garouper instead. As for the sambal, I just grabbed a bottle of Glory Nonya Sambal off the shelves. Not sure if I'm supposed to wrap the fish up or put it under the grill either so I wrapped it with baking paper. Hahaha! So you can imagine, in the end, it was nothing like stingray. Just very spicy grilled fish. The taste reasonably ok, but I'm still looking for my BBQ stingray recipe. Please tell me if you know there is actually a ready made sauce for it.

Just a side note, I was pleasantly surprised to find Glory Nonya Sambal delicious though. It doesn't really have a bottled instant food  taste.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Lagomorph speech

How do rabbits communicate, since they are such silent animals? I can't speak for all rabbits, but I think I know what Blackie and Whitty want to tell me:

Nose-bump - Hello, here you are again
Head-butt - You are in my way
Nip - You are seriously in my way, clear off?
Standing up, paws together - Please give treats
Pawing my back repeatedly when I'm reading - Hey, give me treats!

Blackie makes funny buzzes when he is particularly excited, like, if I'm holding his favourite hay and not giving it to him. He goes 'hmpf hmpf' when he runs away from us, kicking his heels.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Trick or Treat

I'm teaching the marauding rabbits to beg. You furballs, there is no need to attack your treat box. If you act cute, you will get all the tasties you want. Can't get a good picture of them begging because they move too fast. Being bottom-heavy, rabbits don't stand up for long, hehe.

Whitty has successfully won some dried apple slices. Poor Blackie couldn't understand the concept of begging, and soon ran off to sulk in a corner. Hmpf! I don't want your treats if you are going to make it so hard!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wedding Traditions

Less starry eyed, and more pragmatic after one year of marriage…

It struck me now just how ludicrously extravagant everything to do with a wedding is. Why do we working folks save up for years to finance one incredibly expensive day, only to start our real married life feeling distinctly poor?

V lost his wedding band, and for months, we put off buying a new one, hoping that the ring would eventually turn up. It didn’t, and we finally went back to the same goldsmith for another pair of wedding rings. That was when I realized that the slender band of metal cost so much! I mean, a pair with the simplest of designs, without diamonds, would set us back by almost one thousand bucks! And worse, most of the rings insist on coming with diamonds, which means we are left with few choices. I conclude that they do everything they can to make wedding rings expensive, because love-struck couples wouldn’t know any better, and probably wouldn’t notice the price anyway.

In the first place, who says love has to be represented by wedding rings? It seems to me to be one of those traditions that have somehow managed to become very commercially lucrative. One feels vaguely compelled to observe them, but what intrinsic value is there in wearing a metal ring around your finger? At least, if I love wearing accessories, it is good excuse to get a nice one. But being no lover of trinkets, the ring simply seems a pointless expenditure to me, especially if one is going to lose it after a year.
We walked out of the shop empty handed. One day, the man has to get another one, I suppose. But not today.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Mid Autumn Festival

On a whim, the entire clan went to Punggol Park to celebrate Mid Autumn Festival. We brought along mooncakes and a flask of hot green tea, and that means cups, of course. Someone added forks, and wet wipes. And a pram for the baby. Hahaha, the whim turned into a major expedition.

Resort World gave out free paper lanterns. I guess even casinos need to salve their conscience with community work.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Ah...this is life

I can only say, my furballs all know how to enjoy life. See how comfortable they make themselves. 
 Hey Ninja, you are going to fall off your nice bed if you don't watch it!
 Whitty puts her feet up after a day of playing 'Chase' with Blackie

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Another hard truth

Only Mr LKY could say it in such an matter of fact way.

A high-flying young woman, a phd student, expressed concern for social cohesion in the immigration we see here, and our former minister mentor advised her to have children, thus making the point that we Singaporeans aren't having enough children. So if we aren't multiplying, and we don't want foreigners, who is going to keep the economy humming along?

Then I wryly observed that I don't quite feel the aging population phenomenon. Could it be true that our reproduction rate has dropped to a new low of 1.01! But I seem to be surrounded by kids - kids in church, kids in my cell group, kids in the extended family, screaming kids in my estate, and kids stomping on seats in the Mrt.

It struck me that one way to encourage women to have kids is to get existing kids to behave better so that we feel less daunted. But as people always tell me, kids will be kids. I think I shall go and have a couple so that they can do their fair share of dashing through our estate.

Monday, September 05, 2011

5 ways to cook beansprouts

I have become pretty creative about the bags of bean sprouts in my fridge. You see, they are bought specially for the Squeaks, but sprouts don't last long, and how many can a Squeak eat in a day? The only decent thing to do is to consume the rest myself, at least, as much as I can, and then I realized there are so many ways to cook them.

1. Toss them into instant laksa, together with fish cake and fried bean curd. Makes a nice hot dinner for a weeknight. I use Prima laksa noodles.

2. Stir fry with tiny anchovies and fish sauce and mirin.

3. Make omlettes with bean sprouts and minced chicken. An incredibly healthy dish.

4. Soups, with meatballs and carrots. Dashes of scallop concentrate make anything taste good.

5. Boiled briefly, drain, then add soya sauce, sesame oil, wine, and use as a bed for steamed chicken.

Friday, September 02, 2011

The naughtiest of them all

You guys might be wondering why the Squeaks got banished to the bathroom. This is the culprit. In the evenings, whenever Friendly hears our voices, she would insist on coming out, and if refused, she goes back in to quarrel with Ninja. We would soon hear frantic squeaking from poor chubby Ninja. So the only solution is, Friendly has to be kept away from humans unless we are prepared to let her come out. But don't worry, our bathroom is bright and airy, the Squeaks are happy there. The rabbits own the yard toilet, so that doesn't leave much for the human inhabitants in the house :P 

I know you are out there! It's time for my daily exercise! 

Biting the cage makes my running ball appear. 

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Presidential Election 2011: Postscript

On the 'almost president': 
With all due respect, there is a time to speak, and a time to be silent. Will the next 6 years turn into a protracted election campaign? How galling it must be to suffer the fate of being the ‘almost president’, yet it is so unseemly to publicly agonize over what should be and what could had been. The fact is the tribe has spoken. During the election campaigns, much was said about uniting the people. Now is the time for him to make good these words, by acknowledging the results graciously and pledging his support to the elected. We don’t want a shadow Istana, please. That would be the very last thing for social cohesion.

On the 'wannabe president':
To quote Shakespeare, has been ‘hoist with his own petard’. The vindictive criticism of his opponents, so fiercely flooding online forums, has abruptly turned against him. Don’t ask me why, I have no idea who these people are. But you see, once the culture of sliming, mudslinging and heckling has been unleashed, there is no way to control the direction of the attacks. And it has come full circle after all.

I'm very tired of politics. So relieved that we would (or at least should) have peace for the next few years. To all who didn't make it, don't continue to stir up public discontent and incite resentment with endless nitpicking and criticism ok. Things will never be perfect, but newspapers recently said that Natas Fair's trips were heavily booked! It must mean that life is pretty good, right? If the opposition folks are so clever you propose better policies la! If everyone is shouting the same time, who can listen?