Monday, September 30, 2013

Chubby rabbit

One day, V came up to me in alarm and said, "I think Whitty is pregnant." Luckily both the rabbits are neutered, so we know she cannot be. Still, looking at Whitty's fat tummy, it is obvious why V made that remark. 

The pellet rationing doesn't seem to be effective in reducing her weight, since she really gobbles down all the food much more quickly than Blackie. See, her whiskers are stained with vegetable juice! Greedy little girl.

 "Why are you picking on me? I'm being good about my veggies."

Patches of green around the whiskers

Thursday, September 26, 2013

How dogs became our best friends.

Occasionally, when the two rabbits are too cliquish and refuse to play with me, I would threaten to bring home a dog so that at least I also have someone on my side.

This article How dogs became our best friends made me laugh, because I cannot help remarking how differently rabbit owners and dog owners have things. The greatest contrast is, rabbits don't have masters. Rabbits have slaves.

See, Blackie and Whitty? See what good pets do? They are supposed to make themselves reasonably useful to earn their keep, and most importantly, love their human friends!

Too bad that my lectures never bring about any repentance from the rabbits. They are as indifferent and cliquish as ever.

Whitty: Why is she looking at us, Blackie? We don't need another treat yet. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Snuggle Bunnies

They look so happy and relaxed here, cuddled in a corner. Makes me want to rush over and pet them.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Three is a Crowd

Sometimes, the rabbits just want to be left alone, refusing to play with me because they are so caught up with loving each other :( *Sob* Can I join in please? 

Nope, three is a crowd, and besides, you aren't a rabbit :P

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Is tuition necessary?

Once again, there is renewed debate on whether tuition is necessary for students, and if it is, why are schools not doing what they are supposed to do? 

All things being equal, if two children possess the same amounts of ability and industry, we would expect the one receiving personalized expert teaching to perform better than the other who does not have this boost.

Yet this does not mean that the child who does not have tuition will not also excel. Surely the educational materials are not such rocket science that it takes many, many hours of revising, tutoring and drilling to master them. If the syllabuses in schools are adequately covered, and the child spends time on his own revising, is there any reason why he cannot perform his best in exams?

Tuition then, is usually used as a way for students to get an edge over others, to receive more than whatever their peers are having. If this is the goal, no matter what the school is doing, it would not be enough for one child to have an advantage over the next, and the only way is through additional instruction outside. 

For us to break the grip of tuition in our society, it is essential that some take the initiative to jump off the bandwagon. Yet because few are willing to be the first to do so, and risk losing out to the rest, everyone remains on the runaway train, reluctantly. 

Yet us not lose the purpose of education in the scramble for results. I have often felt that excessive tuition is rather like an intravenous drip - it keeps one functioning, even without much effort or will. How much long term benefit is there? Is it not better for a child to cultivate resilience and perseverance by letting him rely more on himself to solve problems?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Rabbit bowling

Maybe some of their naughty behaviour comes from boredom. If I spend more time playing with them, they might decide not to wreck so much damage :P 

Read on some websites that rabbits like to play bowling - knocking down standing objects with their noses. And it is true! I stood some cardboard cones in front of them, and sure enough, they cannot resist giving them a good hard push. 

Enemy neutralised. Whitty proceeds to toss the cone around to show it who the boss is.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Taming a hamster

People ask me how I play with my hamster. Well, it is pretty satisfying to handle him regularly so that he becomes tamer than ever. 

First, I attract his attention by tapping lightly on the cage grills or on his house. Then, I let him explore my hand. 

 See? He comes out on his own. I prefer not to stretch a hand into the cage, claw-like, to grab him. He might bite :P 

You can drape a towel over your lap and let him play on it. Give him a treat so that he would want to come out again the next time.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Rabbit on weight loss diet

Whitty has turned into a pudgy girl, the result of her grabbing all of Blackie's food after wolfing down her own. Now even her binkies are low and clumsy. She needs to lose weight, but something to stop her from gobbling up Blackie's share. 

Here we are: feeding Blackie separately

In the meanwhile, Whitty is locked up in their cage. She looks so indignant!

Silly Blackie got distracted with his playing. We have to bring the pellets to him to coax him to eat more. Now you see why one rabbit is skinny, and the other is fat.

Poor Whitty consoles herself with some stray hay on the floor :( It is for your own good ok, Whitty. You will soon be your svelte and agile self again.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Autobots running wild

How can productivity be an adequate reason for potentially fatal risks?

With all the construction taking place all over our island, the roads are inevitably filled with mega vehicles. Some seem big enough to live in! It is a terrifying sight to see these Autobots, vehicle-sauruses, barrelling down our neighbourhood roads at high speeds, and nerve-wrecking for other drivers on the expressways. 

Mind you, these giants are of course legally obliged to maintain low speeds. However, as our little Swift has been frequently overtaken by these giants, it is obvious that speeding is common habit among them. Perhaps we can't really blame the drivers - they are paid by the trip i.e. the more trips they complete in a day, the more they earn. It is only natural that to maximise their wages, they resort to excessive speeds. One can only imagine their frustration when there are traffic jams, as there always seem to be. 

Why is such an inequitable arrangement allowed at all? Employers argue that if a fixed wage is given, drivers have little incentive to be productive, and might not complete as many trips as they should. They then hinted that this would lead to increased costs, and higher prices for the consumer. 

The pay-per-trip system compels a lowly paid worker to bear all responsibility for road safety, penalizing those who abide by the speed limits. The public is subject to the consequences of any reckless driving. Business owners gain in productivity, their customers enjoy lower prices, but what good is it to the rest of us? And thus this clever arrangement keeps all profits private while making the costs public. 

How many more fatal accidents must take place before something decisive will be done? 

Monday, September 09, 2013

Brushing Whitty

Of course you know by now that Whitty is terribly wilful. No one is allowed to touch her tail, to carry her, or manhandle her in other ways. She thumps freely to express her disapproval, and even bit me once, drawing blood. 

Unfortunately, she is shedding again, and I don't want Blackie to eat up all the fur when he grooms her. It is time to brush the diva. 

Attempt 1: Whitty backs into a corner, facing the bad guy warily.

Attempt 2: She dashes to sulk beside Blackie and get comfort from him.

Finally, success. I can't take photos of myself brushing her because she was squirming and backing away all the time.

Look at all the fur! I think one of these day, I can spin some wool out of all their coats.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Quick soup noodles, the healthy way

Boon One and I had a conversation on how to prepare a meal in the fastest, easiest way possible, without compromising on the nutritional value of the food. Every meal I suggested to her seemed troublesome, but this recipe, I am sure, is simple enough for anyone. If you can cook instant noodles, you can manage this. 

First, find noodles of with convincingly healthy description. I bought multigrain ramen, made with organic flour. That sounds jolly virtuous to me. 

 Next, make some rudimentary chicken stock by simmering chicken until the meat is cooked through. Test by pushing a chopstick into the thickest part of the meat. If there isn't blood, the chicken is ready. I added a piece of garlic, freshly ground white pepper and sea salt to season.
 Lastly, throw in a few stalks of vegetables and the ramen, keeping the pot on low fire. In a few minutes' time, your meal is ready.
I cooked and served the noodles in the same Corningware pot so there was minimal washing up to do.

I don't think cooking can get easier than this :P

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Mealworm, anyone?

"Nobody likes me, everybody hates me
I'm going to eat some worms..."

Yes, your eyes are telling you the truth. This is a box of worms :P EEKS! But those lyrics above don't apply to hamsters. For us hamster slaves, feeding them mealworm is an act of love. It is rich in protein, and part of a hamster's natural diet. 

The worms are dried to a crisp, and smell faintly of prawn crackers, so they aren't actually too disgusting. Still, my overly busy imagination keeps making me see them wriggle. 

How else can I offer it to him, if I don't pick one up by hand? I can't believe my own courage either. 

Potato loves it. He pounced on it like a predator, and crunched it up greedily. Then he searched out the rest of the worms in his foodbowl, and ate them all up as well. Ok, I guess it is worth the know...I am getting used to touching the worms :P

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Picturesque moment

Potato has a picturesque moment, gazing into the distance in contemplation, probably wondering if it is a good idea to go roll in his sandpit again.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Reading Rabbit

So funny, it looks like Blackie is trying to learn to read, poring over texts. 

Now, the rabbits nibbled my washing machine, broke the vacuum cleaner and squeezed behind the fridge. Why do I still let them come out to play? Don't ask me. Love is irrational.

Incidentally, the bag of bedding you see in the picture was soon torn, ripped by rabbit teeth. I had to patch it up with tape. Blaaaaackiieee!