Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Simple fun

In comparison to the rabbits, Potato is so much easier to please. All it takes is a toilet roll to keep him occupied for hours and hours. He can nibble it, scrabble in the tunnel, and tear it for bedding. 

So cute to see him hug his favourite toy.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Rabbit stampede

I am sure this is how panic stampedes start. 

I was giving Blackie a nice full body massage when Whitty came along from behind and nudged me for her turn. Tired of waiting, she then tried to jump over Blackie, but failed, and landed on top of poor Blackie's head instead. In a hurry, Blackie scrambled to his feet. He kicked the metal feeding bowl accidentally, causing a loud thud. Startled, Whitty the clumsy girl ran off, but her foot tipped the bowl again. There was a tremendous clattering. Thoroughly frightened, the two rabbits dashed around madly and went to hide. 

Silly rabbits. If there were ever a more completely self-generated crisis...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Chicken soup coconut juice

LP gave me a marvelously easy, low-fat recipe: chicken soup with coconut juice. 

Note: This recipe calls for coconut juice, NOT coconut milk. The juice can simply be poured out from the fruit itself, but the milk has to be extracted by squeezing the pulp. 

The ingredients are: 
  1. one whole coconut (Use all of the juice, and scrape out the flesh from the shell)
  2. half a chicken (I used kampung chicken as it has less fat)
  3. two dried red dates
  4. Pinch of salt (if preferred) 

If you wish to give the soup a more professional touch, you could cut the chicken into small pieces and steam the soup in the coconut itself. But this practical homemaker just threw everything into the slow cooker, went to take a nap and woke up to this deliciously fragrant soup:

Friday, July 19, 2013

Loving Broccoli

Maybe it is the good influence of his rabbit siblings. Potato loves his greens, fresh or dehydrated. Now he is hugging a floret of dried broccoli.  It is a healthy treat for him, and the gnawing keeps his teeth trim. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Seeing Heaven

If anyone asks why I believe in Jesus, I am going to have to give an unacceptably abstract answer which may even appear irrational.

That is why when I was a young Christian, I sought to defend my faith by researching into apologetics, looking for historical and scientific proof that support the Bible's teachings about God. "Evidence that Demand a Verdict" by Josh McDowell, for example, painstakingly tracks archaeological evidence, historical records and personal accounts documenting the events in the Bible.  To some extent, they helped me to recognise that the reliability of the Bible. Yet the truth is, it is very difficult for anyone to carry out debate of robust quality on this topic, since most of us do not have the requisite expert knowledge or access to primary data that should form the basis of our arguments. Neither are we willing to spend enough time reading adequately to have an informed stand, and hence all these debates tend to be severely guilty of straw man fallacies.

As a child, I remember looking into the sky and thinking that there must be a divine being. I prayed to him that the school dentist would spare me, and reproached him whenever the dreaded check up did happen. Yet who this God was, I did not know. Years later, when somebody introduced me to Jesus, my heart quickened with joy. Unhesitatingly, I knew Jesus was the unknown God I had been praying to, just like John the Baptist who leapt in his mother's womb upon meeting Mary (Luke 1: 41). It is impossible to explain the tugging in my spirit in rational, scientific terms, but is it any less real because our bodily senses are not involved?

Why should the physical be elevated over the spiritual as the source of truth? Bear in mind that the insistence on physical proof itself is a relatively new paradigm that has come about because of the scientific revolution in the past few centuries. In Platonic philosophy, the material world is corruptible and transitory, subject to change. Only "forms", or abstract ideas which capture the essence of reality, are permanent. Though Plato pre-dates Christ, I've always thought it is such brilliant representation of our earthly body, and the new, incorruptible one in the world that is to come. Yet in the modern scientific mind, we choose to disregard anything that cannot be empirically studied, and what loss it is.

If not through our human senses, how is anyone to come to know a God who is a Spirit being? I suppose He appears to anyone who is looking for him. The Bible promises that he who seeks finds, and the one who knocks will find the door open to him (Matthew 7:7). No one who truly wishes to know God would be denied, and according the same principle, Jesus spoke in parables so that only those who choose to listen will understand.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Greedy Girl

Let's not waste any strand of this tasty hay...nom...nom...nom...

On our last visit to the pet hotel, Pet Nanny commented that Whitty had put on weight! There is now a nice layer of fat around her tummy :P But I have not been guilty of overfeeding my rabbits. They get a very healthy diet of fresh vegetables, hay, the tiniest handful of pellets, and hardly any treats. How did this girl grow so fat? 

I suspect that she has been munching up Blackie's share of the food. She eats much faster, and is very focused during feeding time, chomping on everything while Blackie the silly rabbit is still distracted. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Potato isn't Ninja

Potato gets a bath. He is very good about it, and does not struggle when wrapped in tissue paper. 

This really reminds me so much of Ninja. She was just as docile about bathing.

Then I must remember, Potato isn't Ninja. And I mustn't expect him to be like her.

How shall I put it? During my first trauma of losing a pet, I cried so bitterly that I lost my appetite for a few days. Maybe you wonder why a hamster means so much to me, but BigSqueak really did. BigSqueak and PipSqueak were my first pets, and what fun it was to have them! It was so heartwarming to laugh at their absurd ways, to tickle them when they sleep, and to see them feed trustingly out of my hand. Then, suddenly and without warning or apparent reason, BigSqueak died. I still have no idea why.

Greatly alarmed by my reaction, V decided to get me more furkids, you know...to spread the love around so that if one does die, there are many others to distract and comfort me. And thus begins the growth of our menagerie.

But emotions do not work like that. Maybe the subsequent grief of losing other furkids stopped surprising me with its intensity, but each of them still leave a little mark behind. Looking at Ninja's old photos reminded me of how much I loved her. Cute as Potato is, he doesn't quite replace her. Each of them is unique, and how fond my memories of them are! The saddest thing is, hamsters have really short life spans, even at their healthiest. Should I just stop having them as pets?

I don't know.

Days like this, my only real comfort is remembering that one day, in God's kingdom, there will not be such bereavement anymore.

Friday, July 05, 2013

No like baby bokchoy

Occasionally, I would buy a bag of vegetables that fails to meet Blackie's gourmet tastes. Then he would scoff at the plate of greens and go off to play without getting his fresh vitamins. It usually ends up with me chasing him around, waving the leaves in front of his nose and hoping that he would take a nibble. 

Please eat your greens: Take 1

Please eat your greens: Take 2

Please eat your greens: Take 3

Whitty is always convinced that I am giving Blackie the best parts, so she would come to claim her share, even though the whole plate of vegetables is lying there.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Rabbit tricks

Being much cleverer than poor Blackie, Whitty learnt the technique of begging very easily, and the rewards too :P

Aww...I do think this is Whitty at her most uber cute. Sorry that these photos are so blur. She moves too fast for my iphone.

Paradoxically, the trick to successful training is not to use treats that are too desirable. If I wave papaya pills or banana at them, the rabbits will be so excited that they can't think of anything else, and will just jump madly up and down until they get the food. But I used wheatgrass here. Whitty likes it enough for it to be a reward, but not so much that she forgets what she is supposed to do.

Monday, July 01, 2013

FreeMyInternet? No, thanks

After my previous entry supporting government regulation on Internet discourse, someone asked me to provide evidence for my claim that self-regulation isn't working.

Well, evidence just happened.

Somebody impersonated as MP Irene Ng and published an article in her name on TRS (The Real Singapore), a website on political commentary. Did the website intentionally abet this fraudulent act? Would it just claim to be a victim of deception? At the very least, the editors of this website have failed to exercise due diligence in verifying the sources of their content. It has let its readers down by offering such sloppy control over the quality of what it publishes.

I am sick of all these politically-motivated websites, with their half truths, cunning insinuations and hidden insults. And disgusted by the comments fanning their extreme views - comments which are uncouth at best, and often vulgar and obscene. Tell me, how does this enhance the democratic processes in Singapore?

If people demand freedom of expression, then we should abolish anonymity. Let's see how many people will still indulge in hate speech then. After all, in Hyde Park, when people speak their minds without incrimination, they put their person and identity on the podium for all to see. If one is willing to be responsible for what he says, then he has the right to expect freedom of expression. If not, we are letting the basest  in our society dictate the rules of social interaction. Why should we make it so easy for people to spew vitriol since this does nothing for the quality of life for the rest of us?