Thursday, January 30, 2014

Bath time for Potato

Potato the hamster is having a nice time investigating our belongings, while we are cleaning his cage. Hey hamster, be careful of the scissors ok. 

Then, he got a light dousing of shampoo, which he hates. We try not to bathe him, since he dislikes being wet, but sometimes, he smells terrible. The problem is, he has decided to use his bathing sand pit as a toilet instead, though he still rolls in it! Why do animals get such silly ideas into their heads?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Sorry is the hardest thing to say

An expatriate in Singapore sneered at “poor people” – the suffering plebeians in public transport, and triggered a storm in the social media. 

Public fury never seemed more futile and impotent.

Insulated in his fast cars, luxury housing and privileged social circle, what does it matter to him that the 99% hate him? Maybe he would find this furor childish, laughable even. He issued an apology through a public relations firm. I never knew that saying sorry so hard that it takes a professionally paid team to help one do it. 

I guess I became envious of the rich, the powerful, and the bullying. It is hard not to be, strap-hanging in crammed buses while porsches zip by. Though the Bible promises that God loves the humble, and that the meek will inherit the earth, daily life certainly does not always feel that way. How gratifying it would be to see everyone get his comeuppance or reward instantaneously. The fat of the land should go only to those who deserve it, and everyone pays an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. At that time, surely it would be a no-brainer to choose to do good, in order to merit rewards.

Yet patience is perhaps the greatest test of faith. God’s word is indubitable on the ultimate outcomes for who honor him, and those who mock at him. Each of us then get to choose our path accordingly to how much we believe in these promises. In this sense, we are truly walking by faith and not by sight, whether this faith is in His word, or in the worldly rules that often reward greed. I think that it is His mercy which is delaying the immediate consequences of our actions. We have many decades to discover the results of our choices, and to change our minds. For the sneering man in his Porsche, maybe the public condemnation could be a wake-up call, before the eternal one. That too, is his choice to make. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Whitty the Bully

All I can say is, Whitty is really a bully.

I gave the rabbits their favourite willow ring, and they started demolishing it with enthusiasm. Not surprisingly, Whitty decided that it would be even more fun if she had it all to herself, dashed off with it. 

 Blackie is always so sweet about his naughty bunbride, but I can't let him give up his favourite toy in this meek manner. I took the ring out of Whitty's mouth, and returned it to Blackie.
 Nothing can stop the determined girl from getting her share though. Here she is, back again to get at the precious ring. Hm...I should just give them one each, but they are so frightfully expensive.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Fare Hikes: what we asked for

Fares are going up again.

The furore is inevitable, since nobody likes to have to cough up more for something we pay every day. However, at the risk of being abused, I have to conclude that this is what we, as a socially-aware public, have asked for. Isn't this the logical outcome of the feedback the government has been receiving?

In this latest round of fee revision, concessions are being given to more vulnerable groups in our country, such as students from polytechnics and the disabled. This is indeed what has been repeatedly requested in the official press, online media and other occasions for social dialogue. Being neither young nor old nor poor, I fall precisely into the category of middle class working adults whose full fares would indirectly subsidize these concessions. Somebody has to pay to keep the vehicles moving, and if there isn't a fare hike, how would these concessions be funded?

In popular Yahoo parlance, "the gahman should pay". But if the "gahman" pays, it simply means that you, and I, and every taxpayer pays! Since economic resources are limited, it eventually works out to higher taxes in our country. Is this a preferable distribution of the cost of transport?

To be honest, I scrutinized all the categories of concessions, wondering if somehow I qualify for something. I don't. I suppose, not being in need of help is something to be grateful for too.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Post grooming sulk

It is playtime, so why is the yard curiously empty? 

Blackie is hiding in the cage, Whitty is lurking in their tiny box. The rabbits are still cross about getting their nails cut. I had to appease them with a papaya pill, two treats and a new chew toy before they are willing to come out to play again. Luckily, grooming takes place only once every two months. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Love Your Neighbour

Sometimes, I suspect that it is easier to be a martyr than to persist in daily God-fearing walk. It takes only a moment of (painful) execution to launch one into glorious life in heaven, but discipling the flesh require long-term endurance and self-denial.

I came home after morning service full of goodwill and determination to follow the Preacher's exhortation, only to discover that Next Door is having a mini children riot, complete with tinkling toys that make more noise than music. The halo of well-being evaporated instantly. Though I resisted the urge to chide them, I vaguely wondered if I could persuade them to lay carpets so that the children could throw smash their toys on the floor without creating such havoc on a Sunday afternoon. Have I also mentioned how much I envy but dread their state-of-the-art movie sound system? 

When there are thousands of individuals living in high-rise apartments which are densely built, it is not surprising that neighbourly disputes become one of the major sources of social strain in our society. 

Despite the comfort and security our homes provide or heavy investment in interior decorations, the unfortunate truth is that it only takes one inconsiderate family to significantly reduce the quality of life for others. Take for example, the noise issue that seems to plague everyone. Insubstantial yet pervasive, noise is impossible to block. It creeps through the tiniest cracks in window openings, and even penetrates walls. In a typical day, during normal waking hours, and even ungodly ones actually, I could hear the conversations of my neighbours reverberating through my home, even if I kept my doors and windows closed. I'm sure they could hear me when I sing as well.

And God says, "love your neighbours". In fact, of all the Ten Commandments in the Bible, Jesus told us that if we were only able to keep two, these are the two - love God, and love your neighbour. Why can't he choose something easier to follow, like, "do not murder" instead? 

Yet, maybe it is best to see this as a form of the training to love those who are less than lovable, just as God loves us, despite knowing all our faults and sins. If there isn't a test, we would have no opportunity to choose the better option and thereby please Him. For the sake of his love, we can obey by loving, even if it does not come naturally. And when my neighbours  indulge in inconsiderate behaviour, may God help me to count it as my glory to overlook an offense (Proverbs 19:11), and to live in peace with them. 

Thursday, January 09, 2014

5-minute meal

Pretend pizza, using wholemeal bread. Layered with cheese, cherry tomatoes and turkey ham. Spent 5 minutes in the toaster oven. I think this makes a nutritious and reasonably low-fat dinner :) 

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Rabbits reunited

Blackie is back to his rascally self, so we decided to let him live with Whitty again. Awww, look at how sweet they are when reunited. 

We still have to feed him antibiotics, to complete the course of treatment. But you know, the funny thing is, he never sneezed even once right after the vet visit, so we are wondering what actually happened to him to trigger off that sneezing fit. 

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Night at the vet's

Blackie gave us a terrible fright when he started sneezing loudly. He had been sneezing occasionally the whole day, but at night, the sneezes became loud enough to cause alarm. 

We frantically called a few animal hospitals looking for small animal experts. Blackie was whisked there late at night. The diagnosis was flu...rabbits get flu? V and I had to learn how to feed him medication using a syringe :P The sneezes stopped, but to minimise contagion, the rabbits are now in separate cages. Neither are happy about it, and have been throwing their bowls around to show us their displeasure. 

Relieved that Blackie is well enough to resist going back to cage after medication. We had to chase him around before he went back, and he had sufficient energy to throw another tantrum when he got it. I guess, it's worth all the expensive vet fees :P