Run for Food: First injury

I have thought I would be too tired for a run today, after going through a 7km TreeTop trail walk at Venus drive yesterday. But I feel my muscles are relaxed, and I can go for my routine 10km interval workout, instead of just having a short one. The run starts very well, for the first time I no longer feels my calf muscles being too tight (especially my left calf), and the ankles (again specifically my left ankle) do not act up as I finish my 5 minutes warm up run, and complete the first leg of the interval training (which is 2km steady pace run and 500m of brisk walk).

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All is well until I am at my last leg of the training. I trip over as I am running along Joo Chiat Road, fumble and almost fall flat on the ground. But I still end up with some abrasions on my legs and palms, and soreness on my left ankle as I finish the route. If not for my knee guard, it might be more than just abrasion though.

The pain on the ankle does not go away on second day, despite some “DIY” medical ointment rub I have earlier. Someone recommends me to see a “跌打” master at Haig road, and with the help of Google, I manage to locate the place and go on to seek treatment. As suspected, the inner ankle ligament is sprained. The master commented that my exterior ligaments are not in good condition as well, which explains the constant swellness on the left outer ankle area. With a cold ice pack treatment, then follow by some herbal medical plastering and casting, I hope I can be up and running again in 3 days time.

116 running activities to date and 826.69km running distance covered. Still no cycling activities yet this month, and perhaps I would reinstate it given my foot injury.

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Cycle for food: Cycle & Train Ride to workplace

Since moving to the new workplace in early July, I am faced with the challenge of finding a permanent parking solution. There are limited season parking lots available so we have to take turns every 3 months. For the 3 months where I am not entitled to the season pass, I have to pay for the day pass (*eh-hem*, it’s partially reimburse-able though :P). Having “pampered” with free parking space for the last 16 years, I feel I have to explore other transport alternatives.

I decide to try out cycling and train boarding to work, after all it is the reason why I bought a Brompton foldable bicycle two months ago. It will be crazy for me to cycle all the way to workplace, especially during the peak hour. Cycle and train ride with my bike folded, would be a better alternative. This is especially given my workplace is just 5 minutes bike ride away from the nearest station. The constraint though is, according to the train commuting policy, that I can only bring my folding bike onto the train during off peak hours, i.e. between 9am to 4pm. So a daily ride and train commute looks impossible, at least not with my latest region role.

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Ready to set off!

Today, I have an 8 am morning conference call. No way I will be in office in time for the call, so I decide to take the call from home. By the time the call ends at 9am, I realise perhaps I shall give the cycle & train ride a try. I put on a light cotton shirt and a pair of jeans, pop my laptop into my haversack, and off I go with my bike.

My first leg is to cycle to the nearest train station. I can cycle to Eunos station but it means I will take the East-West line, and will end up cycling from Queenstown station to my workplace via the congested Alexandra road. Does not sound like a good route, so next! Circle line looks like a “natural” choice, given that Labrador Park station is just 5 minutes bike ride away from my workplace, and the nearest station from home (Dakota or Paya Lebar) is just a few stops away from Labrador, at least from distance wise. But alas Circle line is not that “circular” as the line doesn’t connect between Dakota and Labrador in the city direction (i.e. towards Marina),  unless I take the direction heading towards the North (i.e. towards Bishan). Now that will be a circular ride if I take this route! Eventually I stick with this route since it implies that there will be no trains hopping during the journey.

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Go Green with Brompton

So I start the journey cycling off from home. It’s a different (and uncomfortable too) experience riding on the bicycle in working attire (albeit in jeans) while shoulder-carrying a haversack. Given that the morning traffic is still light at this hour (~9.09am), the bike journey enroute to Dakota station is relatively smooth. Despite a cool morning ride (ok, not that cool at 9am, but still a decent temperature), by the time I reach the station I am all sticky with sweats, no thanks to the humidity. Fortunately the train station is air conditioned, so I can take the opportunity to “cool down” while waiting for the train.

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Bike folded and parked nicely in the corner of the train cabin

Once the bike is folded, I can manuever around with ease. With the Brompton folded and nicely seated on the rack, I can roll the bike like a push cart. I walk past the station control with my folding bike, and it is a non event as nobody from the control room bothers to stop me (and rightfully so since I am commuting during off peak hours). That said, I wonder if I will be stopped when I do so during peak hour. It is after all no different from pushing a trolley or baby stroller. I guess it boils down to being civic minded, as it will not be considerate squeezing in a packed train cabin with a folding bike, regardless of how compact it is.

The advantage of boarding at Dakota station is that the train usually arrives with empty cabins. Easy to find a seat that allows me to “park” the bike right beside me. The train cabin crowd builds up as it heads towards Bishan, as many Fusionpolis-bound office workers and NUS students start to pack in. Despite the crowd, I have not received any curious or nasty stares from other commuters. I can’t help being more wary given the recent spates of public transport squabbles.

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Safely arrived in office 🙂

The train finally arrives at Labordor station after 35 minutes of train journey and I feel as if I have toured round the island. With the bike unfolded, all it takes is a 5 minutes cycling journey to my workplace. The tricky part though, is the elevated route. It could be worst if I have to cycle to my previous workplace, which is 2km further away (and upstream) from my current workplace. Little wonder I still ended up perspiring by the time I reach the office. So that’s something I need to fix in the next cycling+train trip, such as putting on more deodorant on my body, heh!

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Folded Brompton nicely tugged under my office desk

With the bike folded, I could nicely tug it under my desk. Including the time I need to get settled down, the journey costs me 1 hour of commute time. Not exactly an optimal commute journey to shout about. However considering that I am helping to reduce the carbon footprint,  I think its a great commute option, albeit only practical if I don’t have late meetings.  Though I have to leave office by 3.55pm to catch the train before off peak hours end, I am going to try 4.30pm the next time though.  So we will see how strict the train station staffs enforce the bicycle policy 🙂

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Cody welcoming me home from work

All in all, it has been a great journey; I can go green, solve my car parking woe (for that day), save some petrol cost while keeping fit. All wins so I can’t go wrong with this, I guess.

Cycle for Food, Cycle to work 🙂

Farewell, my good friend

It is supposed to be a night packed with some personal errands. But all these take a back burner, when I learn of the news of a friend’s passing, and incidentally via Facebook. I cannot believe myself. I have thought he was just tagged in a condolence posting expressed to someone else. The reality soon sets in as I see an unusual stream of condolence postings on his Facebook wall.


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Simon, myself and Karsoon

Our first interaction started way back in 2003. We have a common passion in cars. I was driving a Volkswagen and he driving an Audi. We love to “personalise” our ride. We hit it off immediately with something common and he is always there whenever you need his help or advise, especially with his calm composure and analytical balance thinking. Our friendship took a cooling off as we have our own priorities, but we continue to stay in contact via email and subsequently via Facebook. We met for a lunch a few years ago, we had a good catch up, reminiscing the past and talk about the current.  I promised that we should do it more often, but the next meeting did not materialize.

Just last week, I read some of his Facebook updates, and have wanted to tell him that he looks good and we should have a catch up soon. But not knowing when I can commit the meet up, I procrastinated and now I regret.

12 years ago, when another dear friend was called home by God, I told myself how we cannot take things for granted, and we need to cherish the people around us. I have obviously not learnt that lesson, and am now blaming myself for not taking that step forward. It is a darn shitty feeling. Words cannot describe how I feel now, and more importantly, the loss of a good friend.

All I can only do now, is to quietly pray for his glorious journey home.

Rest in peace, Simon.

When I was young … I love to draw

When I was young, I would have signed up for any art competition I came across, whether it was through my school, community center, or from newspaper. I remembered there was once I actually made my own way to the competition venue (and I was just 8-9 years old), on a Sunday morning.

When I was young, I had never attended any formal art classes, at least not that I could remember. So I cannot comprehend how I could apply different techniques of drawing and painting on my work. I found out that I was best in drawing landscape, and figured out my own ways of how to have vibrant colors on my work using crayons (and that’s by overlaying the different tones and colors of the crayons on the subjects)

A Caricature work of my class in varsity

When I was young, I knew I could draw a tad better than my peers. I remembered when I was in kindergarten (that was when I was just 5 or 6 years old), my teacher asked the class if anyone knew how Merlion looked like. Many of my friends went up to the drawing board, but their drawing just has little resemblance to the Singapore icon. I clearly remembered that all of them had drawn the tail of the Merlion flipping out!  After all the commotions, I slowly but calmly walked up to the board, and drew up a very perfect Merlion picture (including its proper tail :))

That was when I was young … 🙂

Note: Trying to create a series of “When I was young”. So this is just the first of many series I hope to blog in future 😉

Dark side of “Pet Warehouse” further exposed

A few days ago, I blogged about my experience with what I called a “Pet Warehouse”, on how they carried out the sales, and equally if not more importantly, how my Corgi puppy had seemingly traumatized by the short stay at the “warehouse” (but thankfully he had since recovered)

I received a few responses, and was shocked by how other had experienced the same with the said “Pet Warehouse”, with some even worst. I thought I would share some of these responses, so you can see the severity of the issue we are facing today.

 

last mth i went to pasir ris dog farm and walk into EPW and saw this beautiful boxer.. and ask them how much is the price… they told me he is cost 9.5k.. so i back off once they try to force selling the puppy.. and just walk away… that very same day i went to nex PS, they too have a boxer and cost cheaper to half price of the price at EPW.. i was so shock… and one of my friend GT just died after bring him home 5 days from EPW… but cos he did not pay the so called insurance thing.. so he get nothing back but a word of so sorry to hear that…

– Maureen

 

We got our corgi from there too!!!

The standing guy with dyed hair sold him to us. His change in attitude was equally horrifying when he realized that we only bought a few of the food he STRONGLY suggested. I can’t remember how much we got our corgi but it was around 3k plus. (My brother settled the payment.) We brought him home immediately and when he arrived home, he slurped 4bowls of water nonstop! Gosh, he was so thirsty!

After that, he came down with demodex but thankfully he recovered after medication. Now we feed the best vitamins we can for him to boost him immune system.

One of the reasons we got him because he looked pretty quiet and lonely in the cubicle.. But he was never once like this since we bought him home. He is extremely playful and active. Hmm.

– Eunice

 

Oh dear.. I heard of alot of bad rumours about them but this is the furst time I read about a 1st hand experience! Luckily cody is with you guys.. If not some weak minded individual might have gotten hom on impulse!

My Estee was from Ericsson by her previous owner too.. When I adopted her over, She contracted Lymphoma at the age of 3 and it is an extremely rare case.

From what I read from the web, lymphoma is a genetic diseases so maybe her parents were not of good health but made to breed and breed.

– Lynn

thanks for sharing the article… Lucky you got Cody home in time and taken good care.. My 1st dog from the “Warehouse” was not so lucky.. I can share a few pics with you of my 1st dog that i bought home then at nite got very sick and died the next morning..

The vet said was amoeba virus, then i brought her back to EPW the next morning, she died there after EPW’s vet came over to look.

Alot of us strongly believed she was put to sleep…
Hence why i strongly urge people in here not to buy from them because I do not want anyone to suffer what i had been through while getting my 1st dog… My tears even flow now when i type this coz this is the worst 1st experience anyone can get when getting a dog and bring home dead the next day…
– Jeffrey

Hmm, was abit surprised to see this topic here. I agree that EPW is a horrible place to get pets, the living conditions there before how they currently look like now was really bad. And there have been many sick cases from the puppies and often leave the owners very helpless.

i do advice my friends who want to get pets, not to go there though – all along! But the dogs and cats there are really poor thing..sigh

– Felicia

This has been going on for long times. I had the same experience with Jeffery and that was 16 years ago. It just happened every now and than but their business still grow strong. The poor little corgi puppy stayed one nite in my hse and 7 days in hospital than passed away. Till now did’t know what was the cause but I later found out the same batch of puppies( all other breeds) that came together , many died too. i always remember that puppy, he was so smart and obedient. He can do sit stay and wait without lease, the only day happy memory we spend together enough for me to reminisc for life.

– Amy

 i got koji from EPW too… he cost close to 4k… n like described, about insurance, pedigree cert n all, i was faced with the same thing!

– Alicia

We din go back to them regards to Miko’s demodex Mites. But there was once, we happened to passby there for the dog run , Miko stayed very still in my arms , could feel her trembling, she looked ard in fear and she tot we were returning her back to the horrible place of her life …

– Val

A Revelation of a Pet “Warehouse”

It has been more than a year since we have gotten Cody from a “pet farm” located somewhere in Singapore. I figured I should shared our story (about our dealings with the farm) so that more people will be more aware about the dark side of the pet industry. I first blogged about our experience privately, sharing with a small group of pet owners. The responses can be categorized into two camps. One camp was shocked by the experience, although most if not all had heard similar unethical practices, just that they did not hear it from somebody who had experienced it first hand. The other camp could relate to our experience because they had undergone similar trauma with the same said farm! There was no doubters, and the responses propelled me to publicize our story, for greater exposure of such unscrupulous practices. Continue reading

Cooling off

一瞬间,我已经一脚踏入中年者的世界。人生过了一大半,再加上大选的来临,我决定放慢我的脚步,反省一番。

中学时上了两年的儒家思想教育,虽然不是个圣人,也不敢自称是个君子,但儒家所提倡的道理,我不时地去参考。其中,曾子说过:“吾日三省吾身”, 意思就是要我们不断检查自己的言行,使自己修善成完美的理想人格。我不时地提醒我自己,每一件事情的发生,必须先反省自己的不足,而不是只怪他人的不是。

这届的大选,最让我刮目相看的不是新媒体的兴起,而是周围朋友们对国家政府执政的怨言。所谓,公说公有理,婆说婆有理 (对一些朋友来说,“公说公有理,婆说没道理” 可能会比较贴切吧!),我只想在我的博客里发表我的感言。友人所针对的一些国家和社会课题,从策划和政策角度来看,无可否认有许多不足之处。是不是彻底的失败,见仁见智。但以怀着自省的心态来思考,我们必须客观的问:难道这些完全是政府的过失吗?我不以为然。

拿交通诸塞的问题来说,不管我们有再好的路陆制度和设施,只要我们有“临时插车”的坏习惯,别指望有“通行无阻”的现象。如果驾车人士没有礼让精神,就算有再高的巴士频率,还不是不能把搭客准时地载送到他们的目的地?

组屋高价,难道国人没有渴望以高价出售其安乐窝,来换取心目中梦想公寓的欲望吗?如果新公屋的价格得到人民相望的控制,难道就真的天大欢喜吗?人民难道不会乘机“劳他一笔”,剥夺真正需要公屋的市民吗?当然,这些不应该是修改政策的绊脚石,但如果人民没有反省的意识,我相信组屋的问题将会持久下去。

日常费用高涨,工资压制,确实不好受。但国人有没有反省一下,过去五,十年,有没有认真的策划自己事业未来的发展呢?以前一个月赚个两千元,十年后,月资的涨幅度,有一大半在于公司对职员价值观的评估,到底是个“庸才”,还是“人才”呢。如果国人没有积极的自我增值,埋怨“阿公”(政府)的疏忽是公平的吗?说到工资与受雇前景,本人对此课题有特别的感触。十年前,公司为了节减开支,裁了好多在美国总公司和欧洲分公司工作的同事,一律把他们的工作转移到低工资的国家,其中包括了新加坡。十年后,以相同的工作质量来相比,新加坡已经变成了中等工资城市,公司也因此开始在马来西亚,中国,印度等国家招兵买马,在那里成立了许多开发小组,对我国的就业机会前景虎视眈眈。国人在外界经济与就业的压力,应该有什么回应呢?孟子说:“穷则独善其身.达则兼善天下”。虽然孟子所指的“穷”与“达”并没有经济的含义,但是我却认为此名言的原本精神是值得参考的。

青奥运的超支,F1赛车的交通安排,确实给国人不少的不便和不满。但国人有没有从其他的角度来评估呢?当我们的学生们在跟其他国家的选手较量时,我们有没有为他们加油打气呢?还是在网上做个“网络英雄”,冷嘲热讽呢?如果说我们已经在金钱的诱惑下失去了我们的灵魂,那我们在这方面不必付上一点责任吗? 再来,青奥运和F1赛车为国家的旅游业打了兴奋剂,好让在相关行亚服务的国人有一番作为,我们是不是那么的自私,为了自己的方便,剥夺了他们的就业或生意扩展的机会呢?

在反省之于,我相信还是离不开政府“失策”的地方。本人认为政府最不足的地方不是他们执政的过失,而是他们治国的方式。孔子对治理政 事的看法是:“足食、足兵,民信之矣。” 这里孔子 把繁荣的经济、强大的军备和取得百姓信任三个要素 作为立国之本。而这三者中,孔子认为“足食”、“足 兵”二者可去,“自古皆有死,民无信不立”,“民信”是 万万不能丢的。这就要求任何统治者在治政的过程 中,都要重视民众的作用,把取得百姓的信任摆在第 一位,如果百姓对政府缺乏信任,统治者是站不住脚 的。

现任政府的执政能力,是不可厚非的。它所缺少的是,一份仁者之心。曾子说:“先治其国;欲治其国者,先齐其家;欲齐其家者,先修其身;欲修其身者,先正其心;心正而后身修,身修而后家齐,家齐而后国治,国治而后天下平”。简单来说,一个治国者必需先从自己开始, 心正后修身,才有能力理一个家和家人的关系, 如过连家都不能理好, 如何能治一个国哪?如果每个参与政党的议员,能体会修身之道,又有执政的实践经验,相信这才是真正的世界级政府。这也是我们所需要的,而不是所谓的“世界级国会”。

新加坡在过去四十多年来的发展,大家是有目共睹的。虽然有不少的第一代政党为了执政而不择手段的谣言,不管是真,是假,是对,是错,我们眼前的繁荣,是不可抹黑的。可能,我们可以在繁荣之间,还可以有“国性”多一点。但相反的,我们也可能还停顿在二十年甚至三十年的过去。所以,当我们在批评各政党至于,不要忘记“国家繁荣,人人有责”的道理。俗语说得好;创业难,守业跟难。同胞们,请珍惜眼前“国”吧!