Friday, December 28, 2007

Saw the above cartoon in the newspaper concerning the increase in tariffs. See how chirpy they are! I thought the version below is a slightly more accurate cartoon. :P


Celebrate Life by riding SMRT!

Wow... I love these publicity slogans. I never knew that by riding the SMRT, I am celebrating life!! heh. I really wonder where these marketing companies come up with their slogans. I guess it must be from the same place where they come up with names like 'Marina Bay' for Marina Bay, 'Budget Terminal' for our Budget Termina and 'Science Centre, Singapore' for our Singapore Science Centre.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Attack of the Gurmit Clones

Loved this comic in today's TODAY. Totally captures the state of our English entertainment channel. If it's not Gurmit Singh, it's Adrian Pang. It's like, there are no other English actors in our little red dot?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Bus Fare is too cheap! Must charge more!

Strangely, this is what our Public Transport Council told SMRT when it wanted to launch a feeder bus service in Yio Chu Kang. Below is the excerpt from TODAY (26 Dec 2007):

"When the proposal was submitted to the Public Transport Council (PTC) in June, it was rejected because the fare proposed ($1.30 per trip) was not appropriate for a premium bus service, usually priced between $2 to $3 per trip."

So... isn't it no surprise that our bus/mrt/taxi fares only go up and up? Even the PTC, who is supposed to help regulate the fares, tell the companies that they are charging too low! lolz.

No more tubes

How time flies. I've been on the tube for about a month and finally, the doctor has decided that it's time to remove the tube & bottle from me. After a series of blood tests and a very expensive CT scan (costs close to $800), it seems most of the infection has subsided. When he took out the PICC, which is basically the 'plug' inserted in my upper arm, I was anticipating a painful experience, especially since the insertion process was not the most pleasant experience . It was with much relief when he simply pulled the tube out and I felt nothing. The tube was easily up to 50cm long.... kinda scary actually. Well, I'm finally liberated from the liquid antibiotics and have moved on to tablets, which I'm supposed to be on for another month. Problem is, it seems I might have developed some form of allergy to the drug. Just before the plug was taken out, some spots and a bit of rash started appearing on parts of my skin. It's kinda itchy and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it'll go away soon.

Christmas has been kinda low-key this year. I guess it's partly due to the fact that I was/am recovering from the MRSA infection. I stayed away from the main shopping areas as much as I could and laboured to finish my Christmas shopping more than a week before Christmas (a first for me!) so as to avoid the last minute crowds.

My office has moved to Toa Payoh. At first, I was pretty psyched that I would be so much nearer to home. But then I realized that our 'excellent' public transport system is such that travelling from Serangoon Gardens to Toa Payoh by bus took me just as much time as travelling to Shenton Way!! It's really weird, but I have to leave my house at pretty much the same time in order to reach my office in Toa Payoh HDB Hub on time. I think it's due mainly to the fact that the SBS bus is caught in at least 2 jams along the way to Toa Payoh and there are plenty of stops. When I took the 'private' bus service, it zipped along the CTE. The advantage of the private bus is I had a nice seat all the way to work/home. For the SBS bus, I have to rush for a seat and squeeze with the others on the crowded bus. Not a pleasant way to get to/from work.

Of course, the stupid increase in taxi fares don't really make things easier. I still can't believe the addition of the 35% surcharge during peak hours. Well, it's driven me to make an effort to wake up a couple of minutes earlier so that I won't need to take a taxi to work. I've also started thinking thrice before flagging down a taxi. It's not that I've given up on them. In fact, I think taking the cab during off peak hours (from around 10am to 4.30pm) is pretty ok. There is some increase which I think is reasonable. But if it's the peak hour, I'm gonna stay as far away from the cabs as possible. Congratulations to the rich folks who now find it easier to catch a cab during peak hours. My sympathies to the cab drivers who my have lost some income due to the crazy increases.

It's sometimes frustrating to live in a country where everything is spoken in terms of dollars and cents. Roads too crowded? Charge more to use them. Not enough taxis? Charge more to get them. Need better ministers/public servants? Pay more to hire them. Want to get faster service (like in the hospitals)? Pay a premium for the ease & speed. And the thing is, everyone in any position of authority just seems to nod their heads and say it's the only solution. And we (including me) obedient citizens just grin and bear it. Sigh.

Sorry for the somewhat disconnected post. Haven't posted in a while so just decided to have some writer's diarrhoea todae.

Hope your Christmas was a memorable one!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Sigh... back to work

Sigh, finally, it's back to work for me... My mc ends today and tomorrow it's back to the office. It's definitely gonna take plenty of will power to get up at 7am in the morning and drag myself to the office. Good thing is, my office has moved to Toa Payoh, which means significantly less travelling time to and from work. Food and shopping there is much better than Shenton Way too! Bad thing is... I've gotta go to work. Doesn't help that I've gotta bring my little bottle everywhere I go. SIGH.

The Golden Compass

last day of freedom before I return to work tomorrow.... what better way to spend it then to catch an afternoon movie...

The Golden Compass has been getting mixed reviews. In fact, in my favourite review site,, the scores aren't very fantastic. I've not the read the book so I went for the movie with no idea what it's about.

The actors in the movie are pretty well chosen. Nicole Kidman is excellent in her schizo role. I love her sudden outburst and how she suddenly switches from a bitch to a caring nun. Chilling! Daniel Craig has less than 5min screen time so it's pretty hard to say much about him. But from what little time he had on the screen, he seemed to be cast in a role well suited to him as well. Of course the big question is whether the new comer, Dokato Blue Richards, can pull off the role of her life. I gotta say I'm impressed with her acting in this movie. She comes across as being very gutsy with a hint of slyness. As mentioned in some reviews, when compared to how kids like Daniel Radcliffe first appeared in their movies, Dakota Blue Richards is way ahead of them in her professionalism.

Of course, the big stars here are also the special effects. I loved the world they created in the movie. It draws you into the story and makes you look forward to more whimsical creations. The animal/daemon CGI is also very well done. Other than the little morphing daemons, I was blown away by the awesome polar bear CGI. Look out for the big fight between the two polar bears... and watch out for the brutal end. I couldn't believe the movie was rated pg-13. heh.

I also enjoyed the story which was pretty fast moving. I'm sure there's much more in the book, but just like in the Harry Potter movies, you really can't have everything faithfully reproduced or each movie would be a 10hr ordeal. Until I read the book, I'll have to say the scriptwriters managed to put together a good story which held my attention from beginning to end.

The Golden Compass was not a disappointment. In fact, if you asked me to rank it together with the first movies of the other big franchises like The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, I might even say that it beats the two of them. LOTR 1 sets up a beautiful world but I didn't care much for the first story. Harry Potter 1 was a little shaky with the young actors and so-so story line. Golden Compass seems to have gotten the formula right. This is a great movie to start the December movie season!